Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998

  • This version was replaced on 3 May 2017 to make corrections to sections 357(1), 396(5), and 436(1), and Schedules 7, 36, 58, 69, 100, 101, 102, 103, and 104 under section 25(1)(e) and (j)(ii) and (iii) of the Legislation Act 2012, and then to make a correction to section 144 under section 25(1)(j)(ii) of the Legislation act 2012.

Schedule 103 Statutory acknowledgement for Te Tai o Arai Te Uru (Otago Coastal Marine Area)

ss 205, 312, 313

Specific area

The statutory area to which this statutory acknowledgement applies is Te Tai o Arai Te Uru (the Otago Coastal Marine Area), the Coastal Marine Area of the Moeraki, Dunedin Coastal and Molyneaux constituencies of the Otago region, as shown on SO Plans 24250, 24249, and 24252, Otago Land District, and as shown on Allocation Plan NT 505 (SO 19901).


Under section 313, the Crown acknowledges Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu’s statement of Ngāi Tahu’s cultural, spiritual, historic, and traditional association to Te Tai o Arai Te Uru as set out below.

Ngāi Tahu association with Te Tai o Arai Te Uru

The formation of the coastline of Te Wai Pounamu relates to the tradition of Te Waka o Aoraki, which foundered on a submerged reef, leaving its occupants, Aoraki and his brothers, to turn to stone. They are manifested now in the highest peaks in the Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana (the Southern Alps). The bays, inlets, estuaries and fiords which stud the coast are all the creations of Tū Te Rakiwhānoa, who took on the job of making the island suitable for human habitation.

The naming of various features along the coastline reflects the succession of explorers and iwi (tribes) who travelled around the coastline at various times. The first of these was Māui, who fished up the North Island, and is said to have circumnavigated Te Wai Pounamu. In some accounts the island is called Te Waka a Māui in recognition of his discovery of the new lands, with Rakiura (Stewart Island) being Te Puka a Māui (Māui’s anchor stone). A number of coastal place names are attributed to Māui, particularly on the southern coast.

The great explorer Rakaihautu travelled overland along the coast, identifying the key places and resources. He also left many place names on prominent coastal features. Another explorer, Tamatea, sailed along the Otago coast in the waka Takitimu. After the waka eventually broke its back off the coast of Murihiku, Tamatea and the survivors made their way overland back to the North Island, arriving at the coast by the place Tamatea named Ō-amaru (Ōamaru).

Place names along the coast record Ngāi Tahu history and point to the landscape features which were significant to people for a range of reasons. For example, some of the most significant rivers which enter the coastal waters of Otago include: Waitaki, Kakaunui, Waihemo (Shag), Waikouaiti, Kaikarae (Kaikorai), Tokomairiro, Mata-au (Clutha), and Pounawea (Catlins). Estuaries include: Waitete (Waitati), Ōtākou (Otago), Makahoe (Papanui Inlet), Murikauhaka (Mata-au and Kōau estuaries), Tāhaukupu (Tahakopa Estuary), and Waipātiki (Wapati Estuary). Islands in the coastal area include Ōkaihe (St Michaels Island), Moturata (Taieri Island), Paparoa, Matoketoke, Hakinikini, and Aonui (Cooks Head).

Particular stretches of the coastline also have their own traditions. The tradition of the waka (canoe) Arai Te Uru and its sinking at the mouth of the Waihemo (Shag River) has led to the coastal area of Otago being known as Te Tai o Araiteuru (the coast of Arai Te Uru). Accounts of the foundering, the wreckage, and the survivors of this waka are marked by numerous landmarks almost for the length of the Otago coast. The boulders on Moeraki coast (Kai Hīnaki) and the Moeraki pebbles are all associated with the cargo of gourds, kūmara and taro seed which were spilled when the Arai Te Uru foundered.

For Ngāi Tahu, traditions such as these represent the links between the cosmological world of the gods and present generations. These histories reinforce tribal identity and solidarity, and continuity between generations, and document the events which shaped the environment of Te Wai Pounamu and Ngāi Tahu as an iwi.

Because of its attractiveness as a place to establish permanent settlements, including pā (fortified settlements), the coastal area was visited and occupied by Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu in succession, who, through conflict and alliance, have merged in the whakapapa (genealogy) of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. Battle sites, urupā and landscape features bearing the names of tūpuna (ancestors) record this history. Prominent headlands, in particular, were favoured for their defensive qualities and became the headquarters for a succession of rangatira and their followers. Notable pā on the Otago coast include: Makotukutuku (Oamaru), Te Raka-a-hineatea (Moeraki), Te Pā Katata, Pā a Te Wera, (Huriawa Peninsula), Māpoutahi (Pūrākaunui), Pukekura (Taiaroa Head), and Moturata (Taieri Island). The estuaries from the Waitaki River to the Chaslands also supported various hapū.

Tūpuna such as Waitai, Tukiauau, Whaka-taka-newha, Rakiiamoa, Tarewai, Maru, Te Aparangi, Taoka, Moki II, Kapo, Te Wera, Tu Wiri Roa, Taikawa, and Te Hautapanuiotu are among the many illustrious ancestors of Ngāti Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu lineage whose feats and memories are enshrined in the landscape, bays, tides and whakapapa of Otago.

The results of the struggles, alliances and marriages arising out of these migrations were the eventual emergence of a stable, organised and united series of hapū located at permanent or semi-permanent settlements along the coast, with an intricate network of mahinga kai (food gathering) rights and networks that relied to a large extent on coastal resources. Chiefs such as Kōrako (several), Tahatu, Honekai, Ihutakuru, Karetai, Taiaroa, Pōtiki, Tuhawaiki, and Pokene being some among a number who had their own villages and fishing grounds. Otago Peninsula (Muaupoko) had many kāinga nohoanga with a multitude of hapū occupying them. At one time up to 12 kāinga existed in the lower Otago harbour, some larger and more important than others.

The whole of the coastal area offered a bounty of mahinga kai, including a range of kaimoana (sea food); sea fishing; eeling and harvest of other freshwater fish in lagoons and rivers; marine mammals providing whale meat and seal pups; waterfowl, sea bird egg gathering and forest birds; and a variety of plant resources including harakeke (flax), fern and tī root. In many areas the reliance on these resources increased after the land sales of the 1840s and 1850s, and the associated loss of access to much traditional land-based mahinga kai.

Many reefs along the coast are known by name and are customary fishing grounds, many sand banks, channels, currents and depths are also known for their kaimoana. One example is Poatiri (Mt Charles - Cape Saunders) the name of which refers to a fish hook. Poatiri juts out into the Pacific, close to the continental shelf, and is a very rich fishing ground. Another example is Blueskin Bay which was once a kōhanga (breeding ground) for the right whale, although it is well over 150 years since it has seen this activity.

Other resources were also important in the coastal area. Paru (black mud used for dyeing) was obtained from some areas. Some of the permanent coastal settlements, such as those at the mouth of the Mata-au (Clutha River), and at Ōtākou and Pūrākaunui, were important pounamu manufacturing sites. Trading between these villages to the south and north via sea routes was an important part of the economy.

The Otago coast was also a major highway and trade route, particularly in areas where travel by land was difficult. Pounamu and tītī were traded north with kūmara, taro, waka, stone resources and carvings coming south. Travel by sea between settlements and hapū was common, with a variety of different forms of waka, including the southern waka hunua (double-hulled canoe) and, post-contact, whale boats plying the waters continuously. Hence tauranga waka (landing places) occur up and down the coast in their hundreds and wherever a tauranga waka is located there is also likely to be a nohoanga (settlement), fishing ground, kaimoana resource, rimurapa (bull kelp - used to make the pōhā, in which tītī were and still are preserved) with the sea trail linked to a land trail or mahinga kai resource. The tūpuna had a huge knowledge of the coastal environment and weather patterns, passed from generation to generation. This knowledge continues to be held by whānau and hapū and is regarded as a taonga. The traditional mobile lifestyle of the people led to their dependence on the resources of the coast.

Numerous urupā are being exposed or eroded at various times along much of the coast. Water burial sites on the coast, known as waiwhakaheketūpāpaku, are also spiritually important and linked with important sites on the land. Places where kaitangata (the eating of those defeated in battle) occurred are also wāhi tapu. Urupā are the resting places of Ngāi Tahu tūpuna and, as such, are the focus for whānau traditions. These are places holding the memories, traditions, victories and defeats of Ngāi Tahu tūpuna, and are frequently protected in secret locations.

The mauri of the coastal area represents the essence that binds the physical and spiritual elements of all things together, generating and upholding all life. All elements of the natural environment possess a life force, and all forms of life are related. Mauri is a critical element of the spiritual relationship of Ngāi Tahu Whānui with the coastal area.

Purposes of statutory acknowledgement

Pursuant to section 215, and without limiting the rest of this schedule, the only purposes of this statutory acknowledgement are—


to require that consent authorities forward summaries of resource consent applications to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu as required by regulations made pursuant to section 207 (clause 12.2.3 of the deed of settlement); and


to require that consent authorities, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, or the Environment Court, as the case may be, have regard to this statutory acknowledgement in relation to Te Tai o Arai Te Uru, as provided in sections 208 to 210 (clause 12.2.4 of the deed of settlement); and


to enable Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and any member of Ngāi Tahu Whānui to cite this statutory acknowledgement as evidence of the association of Ngāi Tahu to Te Tai o Arai Te Uru as provided in section 208 (clause 12.2.5 of the deed of settlement).

Limitations on effect of statutory acknowledgement

Except as expressly provided in sections 208 to 211, 213, and 215,—


this statutory acknowledgement does not affect, and is not to be taken into account in, the exercise of any power, duty, or function by any person or entity under any statute, regulation, or bylaw; and


without limiting paragraph (a), no person or entity, in considering any matter or making any decision or recommendation under any statute, regulation, or bylaw, may give any greater or lesser weight to Ngāi Tahu’s association to Te Tai o Arai Te Uru (as described in this statutory acknowledgement) than that person or entity would give under the relevant statute, regulation, or bylaw, if this statutory acknowledgement did not exist in respect of Te Tai o Arai Te Uru.

Except as expressly provided in this Act, this statutory acknowledgement does not affect the lawful rights or interests of any person who is not a party to the deed of settlement.

Except as expressly provided in this Act, this statutory acknowledgement does not, of itself, have the effect of granting, creating, or providing evidence of any estate or interest in, or any rights of any kind whatsoever relating to, Te Tai o Arai Te Uru.

Schedule 103: amended, on 20 May 2014, by section 107 of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 (2014 No 26).