5 Mar 2014

MPs hear tribal gripes over Tuhoe bill

7:16 pm on 5 March 2014

A string of tribal groups have travelled to Parliament to tell politicians their rights are being undermined by the Tuhoe Treaty settlement.

MPs on the Maori Affairs Select Committee are examining the Crown package that will be passed into law.

First up was the Waikaremoana Maori Trust Board.

It represents Ngati Kahungunu owners of one half of Waikaremoana Lake bed.

The other half is owned by Tuhoe - with which the Crown is to create a new entity for Te Urewera.

Trust spokesperson Richard Niania doesn't know what will happen to its rights, such as issuing boating permits.

A hapu bordering Te Urewera, Ngati Haka Patuheuheu, has long been against being absorbed into the Tuhoe settlement.

Giving his feedback to MPs, the sub-tribe's chairman, Robert Powhare remarked he has to condense 200 years of history into a 10-minute submission.

But he offered a long-term solution: either remove Ngati Haka Patuheuheu from the proposed law, or channel some of the Treaty compensation money to the hapu.

Several other Maori organisations also campaigned against the Tuhoe bill.

Politicians are promising to get officials to look into the points raised, with one member, Labour MP Shane Jones

saying they'll burrow deep into the issues.