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Towards economic development

Future blues: Economic development

10.2 Towards economic development

The first work the author carried out was organising a meeting with a representative from the Māori Land Court. We originally asked for Mr Lindsey Wilson, from the main office in Hamilton, as on previous occasions he had been extremely helpful and there was a wealth of knowledge in the Hamilton office. Mr Wilson was not available so, on the recommendation of the author’s partner, Mrs Delia Wilson was approached instead. During the meeting all the particulars about the whānau claim were discussed, and it was clarified that if the whānau wished to have a vessel for return of any funds or land from the settlement process, then they would need to make sure that Te Kapowai whānau trust was a legal entity.

Another issue that arose was the final completion of the author’s father’s land succession which had been pending during the claim work. A Hearing date was

set for 29th March 2004, and was to be held in Tauranga. The author was to organise signatories for those that wanted to be trustees, but only for the land block Oteao no. 1. All the whānau shares for Te Koro Dixon’s other lands were to be divided equally amongst his children. This meant travelling to see all the siblings, taking Trustee consent forms. The first trip was to Tauranga, and while there the author spoke to his sisters, Janice Tauteka and Cathy Moss consent forms were left with them, together with directions to complete them and post back to Delia Wilson at the Hamilton Māori Land Court office. A copy was left with Janice Tauteka for the author’s brother, Mathew Dixon, to complete and return also.

The next journey was to Auckland where a visit was made to Rangi Panui, another sister, who was once again left consent forms. There was then a trip to Kaitaia and Whangarei to see another two sisters, Heeni Ngapeka and Marama Dixon. In this instance, the author made sure that both siblings signed their consent forms as there had been discussion amongst the rest of the family that these two were not interested in any of their father’s affairs. This was far from the case as they were extremely keen to become trustees, and were actually upset they had missed the whānau land claim. Apparently they were among those who had been misinformed.

A journey was made to Wellington to see the oldest sister, Barbra Rosson, once again the consent forms again left with instructions. A final trip was made to Tauranga to the oldest brother, David Mita, and once more the author made sure the forms were signed. With the signed forms of David Mita, Heeni Ngapeka,

Marama Dixon, and the author’s own signed form handed to Delia Wilson, it was just a matter of handing over the Trust form that the author had drafted and waiting to see if any other whānau members would join and become trustees.

After reviewing the paperwork, Delia made some amendments to the Te Kapowai trust format and called the author to inform him that of the other members of the whānau only Barbra Rosson had completed her forms, and she would be another trustee. The trust amendments were ratified and all was ready for the succession and trust formation to go ahead.

The next mahi on the agenda for the author was the organisation of a meeting to obtain funding from Te Puni Kōkiri to aid in the development of the whānau under the “closing the gaps” policy. The person the author approached for this was Mrs Maxine Emery from the Hamilton office of Te Puni Kōkiri. The meeting with Mrs Emery went well. The whānau fitted the government criteria, and all that was needed was a proposal. The criteria were:

1. Applicants must be whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori organisations or Māori communities.

2. The initiative must be consistent with the definition of capacity–building, i.e.; “A process which seeks to strengthen the ability of whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori organisations and Māori communities to build the strategies, systems, structures and skills they need to control their own development and achieve their own development and achieve their own objectives”.

3. Your application for funding is consistent with your capacity assessment.

You must be able to identify which groups are expected to benefit from the project.

4. You must clearly identify what benefits there will be for the Māori community.

5. Your project needs to have wide Māori community support, participation and commitment.

6. Your initiative must include and benefit disadvantaged groups.

7. Your initiative must discuss the interests of Mana Whenua and accord their interests due attention.

8. Your initiative must clearly specify the expected deliverables and time frames for achieving them.

9. You need to plan for the effectiveness of your initiative.(Te Puni Kōkiri, funding criteria pamphlet, July,2002)

The next Hui the author had with Mrs Emery was to sort out the details for the forthcoming whānau development Hui. Between the two of them and the author’s partner, they planned to hold three Hui for development.

The first Hui was in line with what the author was organising with Delia Wilson from the Māori Land Court. The objective was to unite the 11 families that came from the author’s grandfather, Mana Mita Whakatau, under the umbrella of Te Kapowai whānau trust, with each family organising their own successions and choosing their own representative as a trustee for the trust. This first Hui was also planned to update the whānau on the progress and success of the whānau land

claim, and to select a settlement team. The final purpose of this first Hui was to begin the compilation of a whānau journal, which would include the whakapapa that binds the different family together. In addition we would also discuss the correct procedures for meetings and collect details for the whānau database.

The intention was to gather the whānau in Hamilton, to identify what was needed to form the 11 whānau into one trust, and to work out how the whānau would be able to unite their shares for Oteao no.1. To do this, it was proposed that either Lindsey Wilson or Delia Wilson would speak at the Hui as representatives of the Māori Land Court. This would be followed by a presentation by the author, discussing how the Treaty of Waitangi Hearing went, and a preliminary discussion about who might be a part of a settlement team. Following a break, it was proposed that a whakapapa session showing the different whānau would be displayed and a historical journal would be compiled for the whānau to take away with them. During this Hui, names and addresses would be gathered so registration forms could be sent and establishment of the whānau database could begin.

A later segment of the Hui would comprise educating the whānau on the correct procedures on holding meetings, for example, the chairperson’s role, secretary’s role, and so on. Finally, a session was planned for discussion of the deed of mandate for a claims settlement team. And to explain the form and the function of the deed of mandate for the Office of Treaty Settlements. (Capacity Building Funding proposal Te Puni Kōkiri 30/06/03, p.5).

It was estimated that the cost for this Hui would be smaller than the following two Hui as this was more of an engagement Hui, according to the criteria set out by Te Puni Kōkiri.

The second planned Hui was to be more intense, the objectives being the full establishment of the whānau database, the implementation of the strategic plan, an outline of the structure of Te Kapowai whānau trust, the setting up of a communication network for the whānau with a website, a six-monthly newsletter, and the completion of the historical journal. For this Hui, it was also planned to take the information from the registration forms and whatever else could be gathered at the Hui itself to identify the skilled persons needed for key positions within the Trust for its activities in the future.

To help attain these objectives there would be an overhead power point display of the strategic plan and how it fitted in with the trust, as well as presentation of the whānau journal, a handout on the email address of the whānau website, distribution of the whānau newsletter, and a skills analysis of those present, while handing out registration forms to gather more information on the rest of the family.

The final Hui was planned to implement the business plan for the whānau, with a view to the whānau becoming self-sufficient, and to see if all the targets set had been achieved. This would be in essence, an accountability study to see if any problems needed rectifying and to see if the direction in which the trust was heading was appropriate.

As background for this business plan, a feasibility study was planned on which business activities would be best for the whānau, perhaps fishing, forestry, horticulture, diving, aquaculture, or tourism. Once these avenues had been identified the next step would be to set up a business and marketing plan, and, finally, to establish the business itself.

The other major part of this third Hui was to be a complete analysis of the whole organisation to see if the targets set had been met, and if the correct personnel were in the correct roles and, if not, to make changes so that the organisation would be efficient.

The overall proposal was approved by the Te Puni Kōkiri representative, Maxine Emery. The next stage was to wait for the trust to be made into a legal entity. The official application was made on 30 June 2003. Rather than sit on their haunches the author and his partner went ahead and booked Te Kohimarama marae at the University of Waikato. Everything seemed to be going according to plan. A newsletter was sent out to whānau and a map of directions to the University marae was enclosed.

Meanwhile the author was keeping a close eye on how the Hauraki claims were progressing, and eagerly awaiting the Tribunal’s findings for the Hauraki area.

The author had received a copy of the closing submissions to the Tribunal from the Crown on 11 November 2002, and was very worried about point 1057, under the relief section p.315, which stated:

As to negotiation, the crown strongly prefers to negotiate with large natural groups (usually iwi in the traditional sense of whakapapa based grouping) towards the comprehensive and final settlement of all the historical claims of a group. The direct negations process is therefore focused on all the grievances of a claimant group, not on individual, whānau, hapū or marae claims. Iwi level settlements generally mean that the claimant group covered and the area under claim are larger. This makes the process of settlement easier to manage and work through, and facilitates the resolution of overlapping interests. Additionally, the costs of negations are also reduced for both the crown and claimants. (Closing submissions, Wai 686, 2002).

This comment emphasised for the author that it would be prudent to amalgamate with one of the larger claimant groups, and changed the direction of all the projects the author had planned. The main focus was now to wait for the Tribunal’s findings, align the whānau claim to one of the two larger claimants that had approached the whānau, and design the future plans of Te Kapowai whānau trust accordingly.