At the recent hui-a-iwi at Otetao Reti Marae on the 4th March, a workshop was held and facilitated by whanaunga and Lawyer, Winston McCarthy with support from Mylie George to give whānau important information on The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 and what this Act means for our whānau, hapū and Te iwi o Ngātiwai.
The Marine and Coastal Area Act came into force in April 2011. This Act repealed and replaced the contentious Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 and this new Act has the stated purpose of restoring and protecting customary interests in the marine and coastal area.
At this Hui Winston explained the need to ensure whānau have all the information they need to make informed decisions about moving forward and the options for protecting their customary rights.
Mylie George says, “Winston and I have been working with a number of whānau over the last five weeks, and we have tried our very best given the short time frame to get all the information out.”
Winston and Mylie have held three meetings over the last five weeks, one at Oakura, presented at the Hui-a-iwi in Otetao and a meeting at Wally Murry’s in Ohawini, with a good turnout at these meetings.
Mylie says, “These meetings have been really good in that we have been able to share some awesome history of each whānau, their stories to each of the bays and islands in their areas and how all the families are connected. This has been a positive part of the process and something which I have enjoyed.”
“We supported over nine whānau to help get their applications over the line and want to acknowledge all the families hard work involved. This is also a great demonstration of whānau and hāpu leading this process out with the backing and support of the Board.”
“This is not a perfect process, and I question why we should have to prove to the Crown that this is where we have always lived, and these are the customs we have always lived by. But it was important for the whānau to understand that if we did nothing then there could potentially be a great impact on us and our coastline.”
“Over the next couple of months the Office of Treaty Settlements will assess all the applications submitted. And for us as Ngātiwai it is important that we utilise this time to hold further information hui on our marae and in homes to inform whānau who missed out because the process that was put upon us was really a “horse before the cart” type scenario. We want to get everyone on board so that whānau feel that they own the process and the korero belongs to them.”
“It is very important moving forward that we find a consensus on how we can all best work together. Each whānau and hapū will have their own dynamics to work out, we will look at how to best co-ordinate ourselves when we come together in our different bays and then how we work effectively with the Trust Board.”
“We have learnt from the Treaty Settlement process that the Crown’s divide and rule tactic does not serve our people. So let’s take what we have learnt, work together and apply it to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act. I am pleased that the Ngātiwai Trust Board worked with us on this important kaupapa.”
The Ngātiwai Trust Board acknowledges the work both Winston, Mylie and others have done with whānau and hapū to ensure applications were submitted by the 3rd April. The Board is committed to continuing work with whānau and hapū as the Crown and the Court work through these applications via this legislation which has been forced upon us.
The set of applications and supporting documents the Board has submitted to the Crown and the High court is now available on our website. You will find these under the \”Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011\” section of our Resources page. https://www.ngatiwai.iwi.nz/resources.html