31 Mar 2015

Political frustrations 'prevent iwi progress'

6:34 am on 31 March 2015

The lead Treaty negotiator for Ngāi Takoto iwi in the Far North is fed up with "individual politics" which he says is keeping tribes in the rohe from moving forward.

Rangitane Marsden, the lead Treaty Negotiator for Ngāi Takoto

Rangitane Marsden, the lead Treaty Negotiator for Ngāi Takoto Photo: Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Takoto

The Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill has proven to be quite contentious with some of the five iwi involved making overlapping claims over who has rightful custodianship to various parts of the Muriwhenua Peninsula.

Rangitāne Marsden said while some iwi was arguing if the Treaty Settlement process was the right way forward, he told MPs at a recent Select Committee hearing that certain factions were stifling progress.

"The only way we can do that whether people like it or not is through the Treaty Settlement process and getting back what we rightfully believe belongs to us," said Mr Marsden.

"And that's what the Treaty Settlement is about for the Muriwhenua space.

"I'm not interested in the individual politics of who wants to be the chief of the iwi, or who wants to be leader of this and that - it's about the state of the nation up there, and what needs to be done to turn it around and move it forward... so my job is to take Ngāi Takoto forward."

Mr Marsden said it was about tidying up the mess because the whole process which started nearly 30 years ago has been fraught with cross-claims, and if it was not sorted out none of the iwi would get anywhere.

He said part his plan was to not only revitalise Ngāi Takoto, but Te Tai Tokerau [Northland] as a whole.

The Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill involved Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rārawa.