Last week the Māori Affairs Select Committee released its report-back on the Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement Bill. A key feature of this proposed settlement is the vesting of Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) for seven days with Ngāti Manuhiri, before the island is gifted back to the people of New Zealand.3 Some members of Ngāti Wai have objected to this aspect of the settlement.
Given these objections, the Committee recommends an amendment to the bill allowing for the possibility of other iwi becoming involved in the co-governance of Te Hauturu-o-Toi, under future Treaty settlements (i.e. Ngāti Wai and/or Ngāti Rehua). In our assessment, this appears to be a sensible option, and we note that Ngāti Manuhiri has now accepted this position, and has/will agree an amendment to its original Deed of Settlement with the Crown.
3 Note 1.2 hectares would remain in the ownership of the Ngāti Manuhiri post-settlement governance entity.