The month of December was a furious end to the year with so many happenings in the life of Ngati Paoa.
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He Maimai Aroha
Daniel Karehana passing
On 8 December a contingent of Iwi Trust members past and present travelled to Hairini Marae to farewell our whanaunga, friend and colleague Dan Karehana.
Dan served Ngāti Paoa through some of the most challenging times of our Treaty settlement negotiations, alongside the negotiators and operations team as a Director for Ngāti Paoa Group Investments Limited and Strategic advisor to the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust. He was a trusted advisor of extraordinary talent and intellect, and he has been taken far before his time.
Dan was diagnosed with cancer while working for Ngāti Paoa and while he was also building his business BlinkPay. He left to focus on his health and we understood he was in good spirits. His passing left many of us who knew Dan well in shock and disbelief as he had been in contact only weeks before regarding our audits.
Our love and deep condolences to his whānau, Kristine and children Keiteria, Edvards and Mikelis, and his beautiful moko whom he was so proud of Kyra, Keanu and baby Khaion.
E Ihoa, manaakitia tona wairua kia tomo atu nei kia koe.
E hoa, e te tungāne, e te pūkenga haere atu rā, e piki atu e
Ngāti Paoa Claims Settlement Bill introduced
Many will recall the significant hui we had at Wharekawa Marae on 20 March 2021 when we collectively signed the Ngāti Paoa Deed of Settlement. We are very happy to report that on 16 December 2022 the Ngāti Paoa Claims Settlement Bill was introduced into Parliament by the Hon Andrew Little, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. Introduction is the first step in the parliamentary process needed to finalise the Ngāti Paoa Treaty settlement in legislation. This was the process that we spoke of at the AGM at Kerepeehi Marae in September and advised that we hoped to have the Bill introduced be the end of the year.
The next step will be the "first reading" of the Bill, after which the Bill will be considered by the Māori Affairs Committee. When we know a date for the first reading we will let you know.
The introduction of the Bill is significant for all Ngāti Paoa. It provides certainty that our Treaty settlement is on track and gives us confidence in the future of the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust as the representative body for Ngāti Paoa.
Please note that this is the first step in the process, the time from introduction to passing of the bill in to law can be up to two years while it makes its way through the parliamentary process. We will keep people informed of the progress and will share information as we receive it.
Appointment of a Chief Executive for the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust
We are pleased to announce the appointment of John Hutton as Chief Executive for the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust.
As trustees we ran a comprehensive recruitment process and had some exceptional candidates apply for the role. The priority for the Trust at this time is the settlement of our Treaty claim. While the bill has been introduced, the process contains a number of complexities including the resetting of the relationships with Marutuahu, planning for papakāinga housing and marae at Ōmaru/Pt England, and addressing the ongoing legal challenges of the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board.
In considering the particular challenges and opportunities we face right now, John stood out as the person who has the right mix of skills to help take Ngāti Paoa through the next two years. John will lead the establishment of foundations allowing for future growth and put in place arrangements and relationships we will need in the future.
John has worked for many years in the Treaty sector, including for iwi, the Waitangi Tribunal, the Office of Treaty Settlements, and for Auckland Council. More recently he was instrumental in establishing the co-governed Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme, which receives significant funding from the Crown to address long-standing environmental issues in the Kaipara. John has a passion for our history and understands the journey we are on as an iwi. His background as a historian will support us to gather the historical narrative of Ngati Paoa from various Government sources and archives. Our traditional oral histories and narratives will be led by Ngāti Paoa people, kaumātua and marae.
As trustees we would like to welcome John to the role. He will commence in early February on a two year fixed contract.
(CIV-2021-404-422,423 and 424 Roebeck & Ors v The Attorney-General & Anor,The Ngâti Paoa Trust Board v The Waitangi Tribunal & Anor, The Ngâti Paoa Trust Board v The Attorney-General & Anor)
On 12 December we received the decision of the High Court regarding the Trust Board’s application for judicial review. This was the latest of the Trust Board’s attempts to stop the settlement from proceeding and challenged the Iwi Trust’s ratification process in 2019 and the Crown decisions relating to the Ngāti Paoa Deed of Settlement.
Her Honour Justice McQueen has found that the grounds for judicial review were not made out, i.e. they did not succeed in convincing the Court that a judicial review is warranted and therefore it would not be just to prevent the settlement from proceeding. Regarding the Crown process, the High Court found that (under the principle of comity/non-interference) the Trust Board could not prevent parliament from enacting law ie. could not prevent parliament from making the Ngati Paoa Claims Settlement Bill in to law. Her Honour also found that even if the principle of comity did not succeed on its own, the claims would fail on its own merits anyway.
Although this is another in a long line of comprehensive successes in favour of the Ngati Paoa Iwi Trust, the Trust Board continues to pursue other avenues to prevent progress from being made. The Iwi Trust will continue on the journey and are committed to ensuring Ngati Paoa finally sees the settlement it voted for be concluded.
Me He Kuaka Reo o te Kāinga
Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust is excited to offer a range of beginners courses to learn te reo Māori in 2023. Our courses are specifically designed for whānau of Ngāti Pāoa.
We are excited to have over 100 registered across two kanohi-ki-te-kanohi and three online programmes. The main aim of Me He Kuaka Reo o te Kāinga is to empower whānau through language, culture and identity. In that light, our programme focuses on creating Māori speaking kāinga through learning and teaching te reo Māori and tikanga that relates to whānau specific activities that occur mainly in the home. This course also provides an overview of Ngāti Paoa history and opportunities to visit and learn about some of our cultural sites of significance. We also explore Ngāti Paoa marae protocol through a noho marae experience. Me He Kuaka is led by our Pou-lead, Drina Paratene, and a team of Ngāti Paoa Kaiako Reo, Awhina Rawiri, Jasmine Castle, and Mamari Turu-Taniora.
Best Christmas wishes
Finally, this has been a challenging year for so many. As we navigate our way through a Covid impacted world and deal with the stresses and strains of life, an ailing economy, whānau pressures and home lives. We acknowledge those who have passed this year, too numerous to mention and the people we have farewelled.
We wish you all a peaceful, safe and restful Christmas and New Year break. Eat all the kai, love all the people and return in the new year renewed.
Ngā manaakitanga o te Runga Rawa ki runga ia tātou katoa