Maraeroa A and B Blocks Claims Settlement Bill

  • enacted

Hon Christopher Finlayson

Maraeroa A and B Blocks Claims Settlement Bill

Government Bill


As reported from the Māori Affairs Committee

Tērā nā te Komiti Whiriwhiri Take Māori i whakatakoto



Ngā Kōrero


1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Preliminary matters and settlement of historical claims

Subpart 1Purpose of Act

3 Purpose

4 Act binds the Crown

5 Outline

The Crown's acknowledgements and apology

6 Acknowledgements and apology

7 The Crown's acknowledgements

8 The Crown’s apology

Subpart 2Interpretation

9 Interpretation of Act generally

10 Interpretation

11 Meaning of settling group

12 Meaning of historical claims

13 Governance framework

Subpart 3Settlement of historical claims

Historical claims settled and jurisdiction of courts, etc, removed

14 Settlement of historical claims final

Amendment to Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975

15 Amendment to Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975

Protections no longer apply

16 Certain enactments cease to apply

17 Removal of memorials from settlement properties

Subpart 4Miscellaneous matters

18 Rule against perpetuities does not apply

19 Timing of actions or matters

20 Access to deed of settlement

Part 2
Cultural redress

The Crown not excluded from providing other redress

21 The Crown may provide redress to other persons

Subpart 1Statutory acknowledgements

22 Interpretation

23 Statutory acknowledgement by the Crown

24 Purposes of statutory acknowledgement

25 Relevant consent authorities to have regard to statutory acknowledgement

26 Environment Court to have regard to statutory acknowledgement

27 Historic Places Trust and Environment Court to have regard to statutory acknowledgement

28 Recording statutory acknowledgement on statutory plans

29 Provision of information about resource consent applications to trustees

30 Use of statutory acknowledgement

31 Content of statement of association not binding

32 Other association with statutory area

33 Exercise of powers and performance of duties and functions

34 Rights not affected

35 Limitation of rights

36 Amendment to Resource Management Act 1991

Subpart 2Overlay classification and geographic names

Overlay classification

37 Interpretation

38 Declaration and acknowledgement of overlay classification

39 Purposes of overlay classification

40 Agreement on protection principles

41 Obligations on New Zealand Conservation Authority and Conservation Boards

42 Actions by Director-General

43 Amendment of conservation document

44 Notification in Gazette

45 Regulations

46 Bylaws

47 Noting of overlay classification

48 Classification of overlay site

49 Termination of overlay classification

50 Exercise of powers, and performance of duties and functions

51 Rights not affected

Geographic names

52 Interpretation

53 New official geographic names

54 Publication of new official geographic names

55 Alteration of new official geographic names

Subpart 3Cultural redress requiring vesting of land

56 Interpretation

Sites vesting in fee simple

57 Nga Herenga

58 Koromiko

Sites vesting in fee simple subject to conservation covenant

59 Kotukunui

60 Pikiariki

61 Waimiha Kei Runga

62 Whareana

Provisions of general application to vesting of cultural redress properties

63 Properties vest subject to, or together with, encumbrances

64 Registration of ownership

65 Application of Part 4A of Conservation Act 1987

66 Application of other enactments

67 Application of New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008 to certain sites

Part 3
Commercial redress

68 The Crown may transfer property

69 Registrar-General to create computer freehold register

70 Application of other enactments

71 Licensed land ceases to be Crown forest land

72 Trustees are confirmed beneficiaries

73 Effect of transfer of licensed land

Part 4
Access to protected sites

74 Meaning of protected site

75 Right of access to protected sites

76 Right of access subject to Crown forestry licence

77 Notation on computer freehold register

Part 5
Provisions relating to jurisdiction of Māori Land Court and protected land

78 Interpretation

Subpart 1Māori Land Court jurisdiction

79 Settlement Trust subject to jurisdiction of Māori Land Court

80 Enforcement of obligations

Subpart 2Sale, gift, or long-term lease of protected land

81 Capacity to sell, gift, or give long-term lease of protected land

82 Right of first refusal for sale or gift

83 Sale, gift, or long-term lease of protected land by governance entity

84 Lodgement of instruments

Subpart 3Provisions relating to protected land

85 Application of other enactments

86 Māori Land Court's jurisdiction

Schedule 1
Statutory areas

Schedule 2
Overlay site

Schedule 3
Cultural redress properties

Legislative history

  • Preamble


    (1) The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. The terms of the Treaty of Waitangi in English and Māori are set out in Schedule 1 of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975:

    (2) Recitals (3) to (27) of this Preamble present, in summary form, the background to the Maraeroa A and B blocks historical claim and the historical account that are set out in the deed of settlement:

    Maraeroa A and B blocks

    (3) The Maraeroa A and B blocks were part of the Maraeroa block, a subdivision of the Taupōnuiatia West block, which was part of Te Rohe Pōtae district:

    (4) The people of the Maraeroa A and B blocks comprise hapū affiliating to Ngāti Rereahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Raukawa, and others. Maraeroa is the location of significant wāhi tapu for some of these iwi. The land upon which the people of the Maraeroa A and B blocks settled and exercised kaitiakitanga was an area regarded as a kono kai (food basket) that provided a wide range of foods and resources for all of the iwi of the surrounding district. The area was shared with many iwi, who were able to come and go harvesting food:

    (5) The people of the Maraeroa A and B blocks held their land under customary tenure and it was occupied by whānau and hapū in a system of overlapping use rights. Along with other Māori within Te Rohe Pōtae, the people of the Maraeroa A and B blocks had only limited involvement with the Crown until the second half of the nineteenth century:

    Te Rohe Pōtae

    (6) From 1862, Māori land was subject to native land legislation, which established the Native Land Court to determine the owners of Māori land according to Native Custom and to convert customary title into title derived from the Crown:

    (7) In 1883, as part of their efforts to control land alienation, Māori with claims to the Maraeroa A and B blocks were among Te Rohe Pōtae Māori who petitioned the Government to replace the Native Land Court with a system of land administration to give Māori more control. The Government refused to abolish the Native Land Court but passed the Native Committees Act 1883, providing elected Māori committees with the opportunity to make recommendations to the Native Land Court on matters of customary title:

    (8) Māori from Te Rohe Pōtae district favoured leasing their land. However, the Crown favoured purchasing over leasing and the Native Land Alienation Restriction Act 1884 (and later legislation) gave the Crown a monopoly right of purchasing land in Te Rohe Pōtae. The Crown’s sole right to acquire land in Te Rohe Pōtae area, including the Maraeroa A and B blocks, appears to have been in place until 1909 except for a brief period in 1888 and 1889:

    Complex title investigations

    (9) Maraeroa was within Taupōnuiatia, the first of the large Te Rohe Pōtae blocks to come before the Native Land Court. The application for the Taupōnuiatia block was made in October 1885 by Ngāti Tūwharetoa. In February 1887, the court made an initial title determination for Maraeroa, which was finalised in September 1887 as part of the wider Taupōnuiatia title determination. The court awarded Maraeroa, estimated to be 41 245 acres, to hapū who claimed through the tupuna Tia and Tūwharetoa:

    (10) The court's decision in 1887 caused disaffection amongst some hapū. Applications for a rehearing were declined by the court and some Māori petitioned Parliament for a rehearing. A key issue for these Māori was the location of the boundary between the Maraeroa and Pouakani blocks. On 9 July 1889, the Government appointed the Taupōnuiatia Royal Commission to inquire into, among other matters, the boundary between the Maraeroa and Pouakani blocks. The commission completed its report on 17 August 1889 and its findings were embodied in the Native Land Court Acts Amendment Act 1889, which, in returning Maraeroa to Māori customary land, determined a new location for the eastern boundary of Maraeroa:

    (11) The court re-investigated the Maraeroa block in August 1891 and subsequently ordered the subdivision of Maraeroa into 7 blocks that were to be awarded to different combinations of claimants from different hapū. These blocks were the Maraeroa A, A1, B, B1, C (Pukemako), Ketemaringi, and Hurakia blocks. Maraeroa A and A1 were approximately 19 900 acres and Maraeroa B and B1 approximately 13 000 acres. Since none of the Maraeroa subdivisions had been surveyed at the time of the award and the court did not specify the area of all the subdivisions, the lengthy ownership lists for Maraeroa took several years to finalise. During the 1890s, at the request of Māori, the list of the owners of the Maraeroa A and B blocks was amended several times with new names added and others removed:

    Discrepancies in surveys and survey costs

    (12) When the court began investigating title for Maraeroa in 1886, surveys of the block were still incomplete and only sketch plans were available. The external boundary of Maraeroa was subsequently completed whilst the court was hearing evidence relating to the Taupōnuiatia West blocks. The absence of proper surveys produced discrepancies between the areas for Maraeroa as recorded in various sketch plans and final surveys. Sketch plans of the internal boundaries of Maraeroa in 1891 and 1894, and surveys of blocks adjacent to Maraeroa in 1892 and 1895, resulted in several adjustments between the estimated areas:

    (13) Some of the descendants of the original owners of the Maraeroa A and B blocks today consider that the boundary markers at Taporaroa and Ngā Turi o Hinetū, as fixed after the 1891 court hearing, are located north-west of where they finally were surveyed, which would significantly increase the area of Maraeroa. Some of the people of the Maraeroa A and B blocks consider that the headwaters of the Waipā commence at Taporaroa. Surveys, however, excluded the headwaters from the Maraeroa block. Additionally, since the early twentieth century, the boundary marker for Ngā Turi o Hinetū has been mislabelled as Te Arero Pā:

    (14) In 1996, the Māori Land Court reconsidered the boundary between Maraeroa and Poukani. It confirmed the boundary established by the Native Land Court Acts Amendment Act 1889, which added 4 200 acres to the historical boundary of Pouakani block. This decision is a source of grievance for some descendants of the original owners of the Maraeroa A and B blocks:

    (15) Survey costs became a financial burden for some owners. Owners were liable for the 1886 survey and for the costs of surveys required for the 1891 rehearing and its subdivisions, and as boundaries were revised following Crown purchasing or when owners sought to have their interests partitioned out. Owners of Maraeroa also incurred costs associated with participation in the Taupōnuiatia Royal Commission and in legal matters preceding the commission:

    Crown purchasing

    (16) The Crown began land purchase negotiations for Maraeroa in the early 1890s once the court had determined title for Maraeroa. The Crown completed its acquisition of the entire Maraeroa A1 and B1 blocks in 1895, parts of A2 and B2 in 1901, and parts of A3 and B3 in 1908. Approximately 90% of the Maraeroa A and B blocks was permanently alienated between 1895 and 1908:

    (17) The interests the Crown purchased included the shares of over 20 minors with interests in Maraeroa A2 and an unknown number of shares of minors with interests in B2:

    (18) In 1901, the court partitioned out 7 311 acres of Maraeroa B2 for the Crown as well as awarding the Crown a further 856 acres to cover unpaid survey liens owed by the non-sellers. By 1908, the Crown had purchased 33 125 acres in the Maraeroa A and B blocks; however, a survey carried out in 1908 reduced this area to 28 802 acres after adjustments were made once the boundary between those blocks and Maraeroa C block had been surveyed:

    Alienation of remainder of Maraeroa A and B blocks

    (19) The Native Land Act 1909 introduced further reform of Māori land tenure. In particular, decisions over Māori land alienation were to be made at publicly notified meetings of owners and confirmed by regional land boards. The Act also removed most restrictions on the alienation of Māori land that were created by the Native Land Court:

    (20) Between 1916 and 1958, the remaining Māori-owned areas of the Maraeroa A and B blocks were alienated, largely to private timber companies. The permanent alienations of these lands were approved at meetings of assembled owners, though some owners later complained that they were not aware of these meetings, and some who did attend meetings voted against the sales. Owners holding a majority of shares in the land could approve alienations:

    (21) Only 7.2 hectares from the Maraeroa A and B blocks remains in Māori ownership today. This land, sited in the Maraeroa B2 block, had been alienated to the Crown, but was returned to 7 owners in 1947 in exchange for 6 acres of the Maraeroa C block that the State Forest Service sought as an accessway to Crown land in Maraeroa C:

    Minimal benefit from timber

    (22) The Maraeroa A and B blocks contained valuable indigenous timber, which from the late 1890s the Crown and private entrepreneurs expressed interest in milling. The price the Crown paid for Maraeroa A and B land in the 1890s was unlikely to have accounted for the value of the timber on the land. Milling commenced on some of the Maraeroa A and B blocks in the 1920s when land was leased and later sold to private parties:

    (23) Between the 1920s and the late 1950s, some owners of the Maraeroa subdivisions expressed concerns about the valuation of timber on their lands prior to the land being sold to private timber companies. On one block, the State Forest Service claimed that timber was significantly undervalued when owners agreed to sell the land to private parties. The valuer was not specifically asked to value the timber and did not include it in his valuation:

    (24) Some of the land purchased by the Crown within the Maraeroa A and B blocks became part of the Pureora Forest, which produced significant amounts of timber in the second part of the twentieth century. In 1960, almost half (27 325 cubic metres) of the 63 118 cubic metres of indigenous timber milled in New Zealand came from the Pureora indigenous forest. In 1977, 46 000 cubic metres of indigenous timber was removed from the Pureora area:

    (25) By the late 1970s, the Crown began exploring options for Pureora Forest because logging its indigenous trees was not sustainable beyond the following decade. The Crown decided to halt the logging of indigenous forest at Pureora in 1978 and created the Pureora State Forest Park. According to the descendants of the original owners of the Maraeroa A and B blocks, the decision to halt the logging created significant unemployment in the area, made some small local towns unviable, and forced families to leave the district in search of work:

    (26) The Crown and private parties also established exotic timber forestry in the Pureora Forest. The first exotic trees were planted in 1949 and the exotic forests at Pureora continue to be milled at the commencement date:

    (27) The descendants of the original owners of the Maraeroa A and B blocks consider that they received comparatively minimal benefit from the sale of the forests, the milling of indigenous timber, and the development of exotic forests on their former land, and as a result lost significant economic opportunities when they lost ownership of this land:

The Parliament of New Zealand therefore enacts as follows: