NGATI HINE FISHERIES ISSUE
I am becoming concerned about the “stories” that are circulating within Ngati Hine about
the fisheries issue and the spokesperson for that issue, me. So, I have decided to lay out
the facts as they are well known to others and so that all will be informed.
This issue is not one that I have enjoyed doing as it has been heavy going, costly (Paeata
and I have spent in excess of $40,000 in direct costs and legal fees excluding time) and
ruined many friendships that both Paeata and I previously had. This is like having
another hole in the head stuff.
• The “Sealord Deal” was signed between the Crown and our people (represented
principally by the NZ Maori Council). The deal gave Maori roughly a 15% share
of commercial fisheries quota and some shares in a company known as Sealord.
• The Maori Fisheries Commission ( a Government appointed body) was appointed
to hold these assets and cash in trust on behalf of Iwi. The Commission was to
develop an allocation model and process that would see these assets and cash
devolved to iwi.
• 1992 the Ngapuhi Runanga received quota to the value of approximately $1.2m.
It has received a similar amount of quota each year since then. A total of $14.2m
• 1992 to 1996 not one cent of this money came to Ngati Hine let alone went to the
people of Ngapuhi. This situation continued up until 2 years ago.
• In 1997, Te Runanga o nga Kaumatua me nga Kuia o Ngati Hine I Raro I te Tiriti
o Waitangi, at a meeting at Te Rapunga, expressed disquiet over this situation
and asked that I look at having Ngati Hine accepted as an iwi FOR THE
PURPOSES OF RECEIVING FISHERIES ASSETS AND CASH. THEY
WANTED Ngati Hine to have its own cash and assets so that its development and
aspirations is not compromised by not receiving anything from Te Runanga a Iwi
o Ngapuhi. Also at this time, there was a lot of media reporting that the Ngapuhi
Runanga was in financial difficulty and that they were on the rocks.
• The Fisheries Commission has as its accepted definition of an iwi the following
1. a common ancestor or tupuna
2. a recognized group of hapu
3. recognized marae
4. recognition as an iwi by neighboring iwi
• using this criteria I put a case together to present to the Fisheries Commission as
1. common tupuna: Hine-a-maru
2. recognized group of hapu: Ngati Te Rino, Te Orewai, Ngati
Ngaherehere, Te Kau-i-mua, Ngati Kopaki, Ngati Te Ara, Ngati Hine,
Ngati Manu, Ngati Te Tarawa and allied hapu of Te Kapotai, Te Uriroroi,
Te Parawhau, Te Kahu o Torongare and Ngati Hau ki Akerama. All of the
descendants of the latter 5 hapu could claim to Ngati Hine if they wished
because of whakapapa.
3. recognized marae: Te Aroha, Tau Henare, Eparaima Makapi,
Matawaia, Te Rito, Tereawatea, Maramatautini, Otiria, Karetu, Te
Rapunga, Kawiti Whanau, Mohinui, Motatau, Waimahae and the marae of
those other hapu whose descendants chose to identify as Ngati Hine
4. recognition of neighboring iwi: we had letters of support from Ngati Wai,
Te Roroa, Ngati Whatua, Te Rarawa, NgatiKahu and Te Aupouri
• I reported this to the kaumatua and kuia at a hui at the Motatau marae at their next
hui and they gave down 2 critical decisions. They were:
1. to withdraw forthwith from the Ngapuhi Runanga
2. to go to the next meeting of the Fisheries Commission to present our case
• in late 1997 myself, accompanied by Hirini Henare appeared before a full meeting
of the Fisheries Commission and presented our case for Iwi status. The fisheries
Commission turned us down because the Ngapuhi Runanga did not support our
• Between that meeting and late 2003 we have made various representations,
exchanged letters and generally talked up the situation with the Fisheries
Commission all to no avail
• In late 2003 we joined in a High Court action against the Fisheries Commission
seeking validation of our status as an Iwi to receive fisheries assets and cash.
Although the action itself was not successful in its entirety the judge spoke
warmly and supportively of the Ngati Hine case. We were represented in this
case by Donna Hall of Woodward Law
• In late 2003/2004 the Fisheries Bill was introduced to Parliament and we (Paeata
and I) made a submission on behalf of Ngati Hine for recognition as an Iwi to
receive fisheries assets and cash. We also asked that we would like to appear
before the Parliamentary Select Committee to emphasize our submission
• Mid 2004, Paeata, Guy Royal (our solicitor and Ngati Hine) and myself appeared
before the Select Committee. The Ngapuhi Runanga made their submission
opposing our application and spoke to it immediately before we went in. We put
our case persuasively and then left to come home.
• Over the last two weeks, when it became evident that the Select Committee was
persuaded by our case the shit hit the fan. The Chairperson of the Ngapuhi
Runanga came out with all guns blazing. I feel that I gave measured responses to
his at times personal remarks.
• The Select Committee has since released its report and it has found favorably for
Ngati Hine. I will update you on the exact content of the Bill when our lawyer
has digested its full purport and intent and reported to us.
During all of this process I have reported back on this issue and the Claims issue to all of
Te Runanga o nga Kaumatua me nga Kuia o Ngati Hine I Raro I te Tiriti o Waitangi at all
of their meetings that I have attended. Pita Paraone declared his conflict of interest with
the Chairman of the Select Committee and left the room when anything to do with the
Ngati Hine case was under consideration and we have acted both responsibly and above
board during all of this. If there was one failure, it was our inability to communicate
everything above to ALL of Ngati Hine. Cost has been a major factor in this and if I or
Ngati Hine had some spare cash somewhere to communicate with everyone we would
Finally, just to put everything in its perspective I also invite you to consider the following
1. In 1867, Ngapuhi called a major hui at Okorihi Marae on the outskirts of Kaikohe
to choose a Ngapuhi Chief. The gathering chose Maihi Paraone Kawiti who
signed the Treaty of Waitangi as Te Kuhunga. They gave him Hone Hekes’ mere
as a symbol of his Ariki status
2. in 1878 he returned to Okorihi, threw Hone Hekes’ mere on to the ground and
signaled that Ngati Hine were going on their own. His role as Ariki was being
challenged constantly by Mohi Tawhai was the reason he rejected the role
3. he returned to Taumarere where Ngati Hine were living at the time and built two
houses, a whare runanga and a dining room. He named the dining room Te Tau
Panekoti and his Whare Runanga Te Porowini o Ngati Hine or the Province of
Ngati Hine. These buildings were opened in 1875. Te Porowini currently stands
at the Otiria Marae. He made his proclamation for all the descendants of Hine-a-
maru living in the following province or rohe potae;
Hikurangi titiro ki Pouerua, Pouerua titiro ki Rakaumangamanga,
Rakaumangamanga titiro ki Manaia, Manaia titiro ki Whatitiri, Whatitiri titiro ki
Tutemoi, Tutemoi titiro kit e Tarai o Rahiri, Te Tarai o Rahiri titiro ki Hikurangi
ki nga Kiekie whawhanui a Uenuku.
He then established the first Ngati Hine Runanga AND DECLARED NGATI
HINE TO BE AN IWI
4. even in 1920 there was a Tai Tokerau Wananga trying to determine who is
Ngapuhi, who is its tupuna etc. The scribe for this wananga was Hone Rameka
and had luminaries like Ngakuru Pene Haare, Himiona Kamira, Nika Anihana and
others on it. It went all around Ngapuhi and when it was finished it was unable to
reach a decision.
5. when I was born I was named after the fact that there were 5 tribes in Northland.
They were; Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Whatua and Ngapuhi.
The Fisheries Commission has also approved Ngai Takoto, Ngati Kuri, Ngati Wai
and Te Runanga o Whaingaroa as IWI. Ngati Hine better fill the criteria that any
of these others approved by the Commission. Where is the natural justice.
6. this Bill has the potential to have far reaching implications for Ngati Hine and
others. The Ngati Hine Health Trust has in excess of $10m worth of contracts
with the Ministry of Health. It has these contracts because it is listed as an “IWI
PROVIDER”. There are other entities like Ngati Hine Forestry that also has
contracts with Crown Agencies. The list of IWI in the Fisheries Bill has the
potential to become the definitive list of IWI that the Crown will treat with in the
future. If Ngati Hine are not on the list there was the potential to lose these
contracts because we are not an IWI as defined.
The Kaumatua and Kuia of Ngati Hine were very specific in their instructions to me
relating to this issue and I have carried them out to the letter. They emphasized that this
had NOTHING to do with separating our whakapapa from Ngapuhi. But, it was a
response to what has happened at the Runanga in the past and their desire for Ngati Hine
to progress. It may interest you to know that while 107,000 claimed to be Ngapuhi at the
last census only 65 turned up to the AGM last year. Our whakapapa is inextricably
intertwined through Rahiri but then so is Te Rarawa’s, Ngati Kahu’s, Ngati Whatua’s and
I urge you to register on ngatihine.iwi.nz or call (09) 404 1551 and ask for a form to be
sent out to you with a stamped addressed envelope.
More information will go out soon on hui to be held so that we can further discuss this
issue and look at an appropriate structure that can carry us in to the future. I urge you all
to attend these hui which we hope will be held at each marae and in the main centres. We
do have to discuss this and I recognize the need to involve as many Ngati Hine uri as
Ma te Atua koutou e manaaki, e tiaki I nga wa katoa