Ngati Tama Claims Settlement Act 2003

  • Warning: Some amendments have not yet been incorporated
  • This version was replaced on 29 September 2016 to make corrections to section 11(1)(a)(i)(A) and (C) and clause 1(b) of Schedule 5 under section 25(1)(j)(ii) of the Legislation Act 2012.



The Treaty of Waitangi, as set out in English and in Maori in Schedule 1 of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, was signed in 1840:


Recitals (3) to (13) of this Preamble present, in summary form, the background to the Ngati Tama Taranaki historical claims that is set out in Part 6 of the deed of settlement entered into by Ngati Tama and the Crown:

Taranaki wars


The Crown proclaimed martial law throughout Taranaki on 22 February 1860. The Taranaki wars of 1860–61 and 1863–69 followed. During the course of the wars, the Crown built redoubts at Pukearuhe and Waiiti to secure military occupation of the land. These also provided security for military settlements that were established on confiscated land. Both redoubts were built on wahi tapu:



In 1863, the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 was enacted. This Act provided for the confiscation, by the Crown, of lands of Maori whom the Crown assessed to have been in “rebellion” against the authority of the Queen. On 30 January 1865, the Governor declared “Middle Taranaki” to be a confiscation district, and set aside blocks at Oakura and Waitara South as “eligible Sites for settlements for colonisation”. On 2 September 1865, the Governor declared 2 further confiscation districts, “Ngatiawa” and “Ngatiruanui”. The Governor also designated “Ngatiawa Coast” and “Ngatiruanui Coast” as eligible sites for settlement. These eligible sites took in a substantial part of the land in the rohe of Ngati Tama. All the Ngati Tama land that could be confiscated within the declared confiscation districts was confiscated, despite the declaration that land of “loyal inhabitants” would be taken only where “absolutely necessary for the security of the country”:

Compensation Court


A Compensation Court was set up under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 to compensate some of those whose land was confiscated by the Crown. The compensation process and its outcomes added to the uncertainty, distress, and confusion among the people of Ngati Tama as to where they were to live and whether they had security of title. Those considered to be rebels could not make claims. All of the Compensation Court awards within the rohe of Ngati Tama were based on out-of-court settlements. By the time these were made, most of the readily usable land in the north had already been disposed of by the Crown. These settlements were not properly investigated by the Compensation Court. All of the awards made by the Compensation Court on the basis of these settlements were made to individuals, rather than to hapu. Often awards did not include traditional whanau and hapu land. The awards did not reflect customary forms of land tenure. Out of some 74 000 acres confiscated from Ngati Tama, 3 458 acres were awarded to Ngati Tama individuals. By 1880, title had not been issued to this land. Some claimants were informally aware of the location of their awards and believed they had a right to occupy the land, only to find that it was classified as Crown land. In 1867, the Crown promised awards of land to the absentee owners from each iwi. By 1880, these awards were still undefined on the ground:



The prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi introduced a policy of passive resistance to the surveyors and the European settlers who followed. Prior to the Crown’s attack on Parihaka, this policy was supported by the people of Ngati Tama and other iwi. Such resistance in 1879–80 led to more than 420 “ploughmen” and 216 “fencers” being arrested. Most were denied a trial and many prisoners were held in the South Island. Prison conditions were harsh and included hard labour:


On 5 November 1881, more than 1 500 Crown troops invaded and occupied the settlement of Parihaka. Over the following days, some 1 600 Maori were forcibly expelled from Parihaka and made to return to their own settlements. Houses and crops were systematically destroyed, and stock was driven away or killed. Taranaki Maori report that women were raped and otherwise molested by soldiers:


The leaders of Parihaka, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, were arrested, and special legislation provided for their imprisonment without trial:

West Coast Commissions and West Coast Settlement Reserves


Two West Coast Commissions were appointed in 1880. The first was established to inquire into the Compensation Court awards and specific promises made by the Crown to Maori in Taranaki concerning confiscated lands. The second was established to implement the recommendations of the first. Almost all of the productive land confiscated within the rohe of Ngati Tama had already been provided to military settlers. Ngati Tama were left with insufficient agricultural land for their present and future needs:


Of the land that was returned to Ngati Tama, all was returned under individualised title. Many of the reserves were protected against sale when granted, but those restrictions were later removed and much of this land was permanently alienated:


The reserves made by the West Coast Commission were vested in the Public Trustee in trust for Maori owners, with Maori thereby losing legal ownership and control of their lands. The Public Trustee had full power to sell the alienable reserves and lease the inalienable ones under terms imposed by statute. The West Coast Settlement Reserves Act 1881 provided for perpetually renewable leases with rent based on the unimproved value of the land:


In 1926, the Sim Commission was set up to investigate confiscations under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 and subsequent legislation. The Commission’s recommendations for an annuity of £5,000 for all the Taranaki confiscations and a single payment of £300 for the loss of property at Parihaka were not discussed with the iwi concerned and were never accepted as adequate. The timing of the payment of the annuity was uncertain, and the sums due in the early 1930s were not fully paid:

Ngati Tama lands


In 1882, the titles to 2 large blocks totalling more than 120 000 acres on the northern side of the confiscation line (Mohakatino–Paraninihi) were investigated by the Native Land Court. Although the area was part of Ngati Tama’s ancestral lands, Chief Judge Fenton awarded full ownership of both blocks to Ngati Maniapoto claimants, citing conquest and possession, although admitting that occupation prior to 1840 was “sparse”. The Judge subsequently refused to hear an appeal by Ngati Tama. This outcome magnified the impact of any adverse consequences of decisions by the Compensation Court regarding Ngati Tama lands, and meant that in the future the Crown did not recognise Ngati Tama as being able to speak for these blocks. It also meant that Ngati Tama considered it futile to make further claims to land in this area through the Native Land Court. The Crown has acquired Ngati Tama land under Public Works legislation. Land taken includes wahi tapu of particular significance to Ngati Tama. As a result of these actions by the Crown, and the decisions of the Compensation and Native Land Courts, Ngati Tama in Taranaki were left with very little land and none in tribal ownership:

Ngati Tama have long sought to have their grievances redressed


Taranaki Maori, including Ngati Tama, have long-standing claims against the Crown. Those claims have been expressed through petitions and protests made by Taranaki Maori, including Ngati Tama. Those petitions and protests contributed to the establishment, in the 19th and 20th centuries, of various committees of inquiry into lands confiscated from Taranaki Maori:

Claims under Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975


The enactment of the Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act 1985 made it possible for Maori to bring claims before the Waitangi Tribunal in respect of acts or omissions on or after 6 February 1840 by, or on behalf of, the Crown that were inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi:


Between 1990 and 1995, the Waitangi Tribunal investigated 21 claims concerning Taranaki Maori, including Ngati Tama:

Interim views of Waitangi Tribunal


On 11 June 1996, the Waitangi Tribunal released its interim report on the collective Taranaki Maori claims (Wai 143) entitled The Taranaki Report: Kaupapa Tuatahi:


This report contained the preliminary views of the Waitangi Tribunal and was issued—


based on the Tribunal’s inquiry up to the date of the report (noting, in particular, that the Crown was yet to be heard on many matters raised); and


in order to expedite intended negotiations for a settlement in relation to the Taranaki claims:


The Waitangi Tribunal expressed some preliminary views concerning the Taranaki claims, including that—


the claims stood on 2 major foundations, land deprivation and disempowerment, with the latter being the main one. By disempowerment, the Waitangi Tribunal meant the denigration and destruction of Maori autonomy or self-government:


the Waitangi Tribunal’s Interim Report had introduced the historical claims of the Taranaki hapu and shown the need for a settlement:


generous reparation policies were needed to remove the prejudice to Maori, to restore the honour of the Government, to ensure cultural survival, and to re-establish effective interaction between the Treaty partners:


The Crown acknowledged to the Waitangi Tribunal, in its interim response to the Taranaki claims, that—


the Waitara purchase and the wars constituted an injustice and were therefore in breach of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi:


the confiscation of land, as it occurred in Taranaki, also constituted an injustice and was therefore in breach of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi:


confiscation had a severe impact on the welfare, economy, and development of Taranaki iwi:


in general terms, the delays in setting aside reserves contributed to the adverse effects of the confiscations:


events relating to the implementation of the confiscations leading to the invasion of Parihaka in 1881, the invasion itself, and its aftermath constituted a breach of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi:

Settlement negotiations


In November 1996, the Crown recognised the mandate of the Ngati Tama Iwi Development Trust to represent Ngati Tama in negotiations for a settlement with the Crown:


The mandated negotiators for Ngati Tama and the Crown entered into—


terms of negotiation on 18 August 1997 specifying the scope, objectives, and general procedures for the negotiations:


a heads of agreement on 24 September 1999 recording that Ngati Tama and the Crown were, in principle, willing to enter into a deed of settlement on the basis of the Crown’s settlement proposal set out in the heads of agreement:


A deed of settlement was agreed to by the Crown and the Ngati Tama Mandated Negotiators in a Letter of Exchange on 5 November 2001. The people of Ngati Tama then ratified the Crown’s offer:


The Crown and Ngati Tama entered into a deed of settlement on 20 December 2001 recording matters required to give effect to a comprehensive settlement of all Ngati Tama’s historical claims in Taranaki.