Iwi objects to settlement proposal

9:04 pm on 15 June 2016

The government has been accused of pitting Māori against each other during a select committee hearing.

The committee today heard from members of Ngāti Aukiwa who said a proposed Treaty of Waitangi settlement lumped their claims in with the Far North iwi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa.

Kate Sheppard crossing outside the Beehive.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Janice Smith, of Ngāti Aukiwa, said the hapū had been ignored repeatedly during the negotiations.

She said the Crown was naive in not treating the hapū as a separate entity.

"The Crown was responsible for using one group of Māori to defeat the rights and claims of other Māori. This claim has been sent to the bottom of the Treaty claims settlement list before, for the same reasons we are objecting today."

She said the Crown was using Ngāti Aukiwa lands to settle the grievances of other Māori and was deliberately setting "descendants against descendants in what will be a continuing saga."

The hapū had sent clear signals to the Crown that Ngāti Aukiwa was an autonomous hapū that should be recognised by the Crown, she said.

"Please imagine this: you all own your own house and you all live as neighbours in a cul-de-sac.

"I come along and I tell you I'm confiscating your house, but hang on, I'm prepared to give it back, however, you'll need to move into one house.

"Why? Because I've given all the properties to the neighbours adjoining both sides of the cul-de-sac. Why would I buy additional properties when I can just give yours? My apologies for doing this to you."

The committee will now consider all submissions before making recommendations.