Within the wider political landscape there are many kaupapa with the potential to impact upon the mana and rangatiratanga of Ngati Porou. A Hui a Iwi was called last month by the elected representatives of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, to inform and update whanau and hapu members about some of the most recent developments occurring within this constantly evolving environment.
A Hui a Iwi was called last month by the elected representatives of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, to inform and update whanau and hapu members about some of the most recent developments occurring within this constantly evolving environment. The hui also provided an opportunity for the Iwi to share their whakaaro, and help formulate the tribe’s responses to these issues.
Over 150 Iwi members attended the Hui a Iwi at Hiruharama marae on Sunday the 12th of May. For those unable to attend, Radio Ngati Porou broadcast the hui over the airwaves and online.
The first kaupapa to be discussed was the Resource Management Act (RMA) reforms. This korero was led by Horiana Irwin- Easthope, a Solicitor for law firm Kahui Legal. Horiana has been helping the Runanganui to write a submission about the Crown’s proposed changes to the Resource Management legislation.
In her korero she provided a background into the RMA and explained what the Crown’s and the Runanganui’s position has been in respect of this kaupapa. She also described each step of the legislative reform process, and the opportunities where by whanau and hapu can also make their own submissions, in addition to the Runanganui’s response on behalf of the Iwi.
The next kaupapa to be presented at the hui, the Fresh Water Reforms, had linkages to the proposed RMA amendments. Deputy TRONPnui Chairman, Selwyn Parata provided korero about this issue, as Ngati Porou’s representative on the Iwi Leaders Group Fresh Water forum.
The forum has had ongoing engagement with the Crown about the issue of iwi rights and interests in water and to help ensure that these rights are recognised in the context of the Government’s freshwater reforms. Selwyn provided a comprehensive overview about the proposed reforms, and the approach Ngati Porou and the Iwi Leaders forum have applied to the issue.
Matanuku Mahuika, a Partner for Kahui Legal, delivered the third presentation about the Nga Hapu o Ngati Porou Foreshore & Seabed Deed of Agreement. He began with a detailed history about the last ten years of Ngati Porou’s engagement with the Crown over the foreshore and seabed, before providing an update about where the kaupapa is at present.
Matanuku explained that the replacement of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, with the Marine and Coastal Area ( Takutai Moana) Act has provided the opportunity for Ngati Porou to update the Deed, especially in regard to the provision of customary title.
Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, wrapped up the hui with her korero about the Constitution Conversation. Linda is a member of the Constitutional Advisory panel currently seeking views from all New Zealanders about the legal foundation on which the country is based.
Linda’s presentation provided a fitting conclusion to the hui, as the previous three presentations encouraged attendees to consider the implications government legislation and local body policies have on Iwi. And to also consider the rule of the law, in comparison to our own tribal lore.
Attendees were able to reflect upon the morning’s korero they had heard and discuss these issues at length during the special Mother’s Day hakari which followed the hui. Chrissy Morrison says she found the hui very informative. "I think I can take away a few things from the Water Rights and the RMA kaupapa. I always hear about the RMA but now I will go and find out what it’s all about, and why some people are upset about it.”
Wiremu Wanoa says he enjoyed the korero and that the speakers presented themselves well. “I personally didn’t realise how big the water issue was, and it’s come home now for many of us, how much more we have to do to care for it. Today wasn’t long enough really, we need two days of wananga about it. The water rights issue is really important but today what was covered was just the tip of the iceberg.”
Donette Kupenga says the hui was well run. “It gave people the opportunity to ask questions, seek clarification and get understanding about kaupapa. I thought it was brilliant in that respect. I didn’t realise the RMA could directly relate to the issue we are having with our Ahu Whenua. I thought the only avenues open for us as Ahu Whenua trustees was through the Maori Land Court, Maori Trustees and GDC, until I heard the RMA korero today."
"I also thought that all of this mahi is like a spider web. Even though your kaupapa may be over here, there are all these other things that impact upon it. We need to be participating in all that other stuff that is happening as well.”
Feedback from the hui:
91% of attendees completed a feedback form with 61% recording that the hui exceeded expectations and 30% noting the hui had met some expectations. Some comments recorded, are as follows:
“Excellent and Worthwhile, Good to see what the Runanga is doing”. Kura Tibble.
“Very inspirational and covered very important aspects.” Hiki Banks.
“Good Topics, Informative, Good Atmosphere, Had a lot of information for Whanau.” Anonymous
“Water one was interesting, Everyone brought good korero that was new to the ears.” T Houia.
“It was an enjoyable experience, though some topics were beyond me what I could understand caught my interest and was great to be informed of.” E Ingle
If you would like copies of the Hui a Iwi presentations please go to www.ngatiporou.com