Ngāti Ranginui Settlement Trust “the Settlement Trust” were in the dark on the protest action taken by Ngāi Te Rangi today but agree that we are both aligned in that there is a no evidence to support the Crown’s view that Hauraki should have interests or rights in Tauranga Moana. The Settlement Trust have since spoken to Ngāi Te Rangi who have explained their strategy of secrecy. While the Settlement Trust was not able to officially play a role in organising the action, it was pleasing to see our waka Tākitimu and so many of our people involved. Tamariki, Rangatahi, Pākeke and Kaumātua were passionately supporting the kaupapa, both in person and online via Facebook.
We believe that local ratepayers, residents, local bodies, and local businesses and wider community, should be supporting Tauranga Moana iwi, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāi Te Rangi. The potential intrusion of Hauraki Iwi into Tauranga Moana will forever change the cultural landscape and cultural identity – we cannot and should not have non ratepayers from outside the district dictating to local government, businesses and local residents. Both iwi have been working tirelessly over the past several months, to prevent the Crown making the decision to allow an external tribe to have a say over the direction and management of local resources.
It is understood that today’s action stemmed from advice that a date had been set by the Crown to sign a Treaty Settlement with Hauraki that recognises their claim in Tauranga Moana. Representatives of the Crown have claimed this is not the case and no such date for signing has been set. However, we are mindful that it would not be the first time that the Crown have told us one thing and done another.