Joshua Hitchcock

More Secrets Within Te Atiawa

In Te Ao Māori on April 21, 2011 at 1:21 am

I received today the April Panui from Te Atiawa updating iwi members of recent progress made in relation to our negotiations with the Crown.  Not that it was much of an update – for reasons unknown, the Iwi Authority (“TAIA”) has decided to keep most of the documentation and information about the negotiations confidential. Now, I can understand the need for confidentiality in some areas – such as the specific land blocks ear-marked for return, or commercial redress. But what really annoys me is that TAIA is keeping confidential an Iwi Aspirations document that has been provided to the Crown. According to TAIA, this document discusses the following:

– Who we are (whakapapa);

– Our history (especially the land wars);

– The impact of the land wars and raupatu; and

– Our Aspirations

Last year TAIA provided a questionnaire canvassing members of Te Atiawa about their aspirations for the iwi moving forward.  These views were then fed back to TAIA who created the aspirations document.  At this stage, best practice would dictate that the iwi had an opportunity to review the aspirations document and provide comment and approval. To do so allows all members to feel a part of the iwi and see where the iwi is headed.  It is vitally important that the iwi is united under a common vision before engaging with the Crown.  TAIA did not adopt such an approach. The Aspirations Document was presented to the Crown without being seen by the iwi community.

TAIA have an opportunity to partially remedy their failings in this respect.  The aspirations document should be released immediately to iwi members to consider and provide feedback on. A revised edition can then be presented to the Government. We will only heal as an iwi when everyone within our iwi is included in all stages of the settlement process. It should not be forgotten that the last attempt to settle our historical Treaty of Waitangi claims in 1999 failed because iwi leaders failed to adequately include the iwi in the settlement process. Let’s not repeat the failures of the past.

(Post edited following clarification and comments by TAIA chair, Wikitoria Keenan)

  1. I comment as Chair of TAIA.

    In case you weren’t aware TAIA does have the Iwi and Crown mandate to negotiate the Treaty of Waitangi Claim and that is what TAIA is doing – negotiating. If you are an Iwi member you will have the opportunity to ratify the settlement.

    Although your comment is interesting it would carry me weight with me if you indentified yourself – its easy to take potshots and hide behind words!

  2. Tena koe Wikitoria, thank you for taking the time to respond. If you read my about page then you will see that I am very open about who I am. If you want my whakapapa then know that Jimmy Pihama was my grandfather.

    How about responding to the issues raised in the post?


      Thanks – I knew Jimmy – he was a fine man.

      Re the aspirations. Last year TAIA sent a questionnaire to all members on the database. In this we asked for aspirations immediately , 5 years , 10 years, 15 years and 20 years time. TAIA has a haou based structure and the Delegates are appointed by the respective Hapu (Keith Holswich is the Ngati Rahiri Delegate). The Hapu Delegates were able to advise aspirations of their Hapu memmbers also. The questionnaire and the Hapu views gave a good snapshot of Te Atiawa aspirations and we used these for the Aspirations Document which was presented to the Minister on 20 February. You are welcome to let us know what your aspirations are and if you wish we will send you a copy of the questionnaire.

      • He was indeed :)

        I admit, that the questionnaire did not come to my attention at the time; but the point remains, while iwi members may have provided you individual aspirations for the iwi, which of these were adopted by TAIA and in what direction do these aspirations take Te Atiawa? Why then was the consultation process stopped after the questionnaire? If the document is a snapshot of Te Atiawa aspirations as you suggest, then why are you telling iwi members that it has been provided to the Government but we cannot see it?

        I have done a bit of work around ‘best practice’ consultation and policy formation and what it comes down to is allowing stakeholders the opportunity to discuss and comment during every stage of the process. For instance, the preparation of a draft aspirations document could have been provided to iwi members so that we could see what Te Atiawa aspired to. I have my own aspirations for Te Atiawa, as do other members of my whanau – but who is to say that these are the same as those of other iwi members.

  3. Tena koe Joshua, hee, hee, I must admit that I have come across this page by mistake perhaps, but I do not think so…. I too am unaware of such a questionaire paper that was apparently distributed to Hapuu within Te Ati Awa ki Taranaki i teeraa tau. Hei aha, I have been made aware now and I will koorero to my whanau within Te Hapuu o Pukerangiora as to the content they had contributed. Given the circumstances at this time re. Partial SOE Asset Sales, perhaps an inclusion of a Sections 9 and 27 A-D may be required within this Aspirational Document. I look forward to further dialogue concerning our Iwi e hoa. Ka mihi ‘aro’ me te ‘haa’ nui ki a koe Joshua….. Mauri tuu, mauri ora…..

  4. Tena koe Joshua
    Mihinui ki a koe e te whanaunga. Ko Donna Eriwata au. Ko Edward Eriwata toku papa. I will leave it at that Im sure your parent will be able to tell you who I am. I am presently since Sept 2011 that hapu delegate for the Otaraua Hapu for TAIA.
    I have read the comments on this page and find it very interesting and have asked the same questions on the table. If you would like to email me I wouldn’t mind listening to your whakaaro on more of these best practise models.
    Also to here of your aspirations for Te Atiawa and to see how they could be included into our document.

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