NGATARAWA

The information presented here is a history to keep this kaupapa alive and ensure that nga uri of the land owners understand what took place when our land was taken. While Boy Kemp was the Chairman in 2015, the Trustees of the Ngatarawa land blocks and Ohiti Waitio 1E3A Ahu Whenua Trust had dedicated Trustee Olivia Thompson to investigate the Wai Claim that was originally lodged by Mr Irimana Matenga. This summarises the findings and progress to date. Olivia Thompson has therefore been a representative of landowners of land that was taken by the Public Works Act for Railway purposes in 1898. The land is now known as Roys Hilll site (Section 1 Survey Office Plan 3620 / CFR HBW4/49) that is now owned by the Department of Conservation under the Reserved Act 1997. The land is currently vested in the trust to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council for the purposes of ‘improvement and protection’ of the Ngaruroro River. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council currently lease the land to Mr Mike Glazebrook. (April 2021)

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

In 1996 Mr Irimana Heemi Totoru Alex Matenga registered a Waitangi Claim with the Waitangi Tribunal known as WAI596. Mr Matenga has passed away and we are pursuing the wishes of the land owners to have this land returned from the Department of Conservation (THE CROWN) to the rightful land owners.

The following is a timeline of events that has eventuated to this point (6 April 2021):

1898: The Hawkes Bay River Board took Ngatarawa land for a railway line under the Public Works Act. According to Gazette Notice 1912, Pg 2784, the raliway line never eventuated.

1912: The land was proclaimed Crown Land subject to Land Act 1908.

1910-current: The land was not returned to the owners and was referred to the Hawke’s Bay Rivers Board then later to the HB Catchment and eventually the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to administer. Throughout the years, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council leased this land for cropping and other activities to different farmers and today it is leased to Mike Glazebrook who’s family has been the longest leasees of the land.  

  • The State Owned Enterprises Act and Crown Forests Assets Act led us to believe that if the land was not used for the purpose it was taken for, it should be returned to its owner.

  • Mr Irimana Heemi Totoru Alex Matenga, one of the owners in the Ngatarawa land, had been investigating the land issue and made inquiries through the Department of Lands and Survey Department, however their response was that their records from those early years were destroyed in the 1931 Earthquake and they didnt have much information. They suggested going to the Land Officer at the NZ Railways in Wellington as they may have records that show why they needed this area and any compensation that was agreed upon.

  • On 7 May 1996 Mr Irimana Heemi Totoru Alex Matenga lodged a claim. The Claim is called WAI596. Mr Irimana Heemi Totoru Alex Matenga has since passed away.

  • The Ngatarawa Lands Trust was developed and Trustee Olivia Thompson was tasked to investigate the Claim, which she has done for several years.

  • At this time the Post Settlement Governance Entity for Heretaunga and Tamatea – He Toa Takitini, was informed of the Wai Claim by Omahu representative Hinehou Whitiwhiti.

  • We held several meetings with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council over the years to come to an agreement in our favour. On the 20 June 2018, Olivia Thompson and Kathleen Kireka (land owner representatives) met with HBRC Chief Executive, James Palmer, Gary Cload (HBRC) Liz Munroe and Peter Paku (He Toa Takitini) and we came to a verbal agreement prior to sign off. The plan was for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to transfer the perpetual management of the land to the WAI Claimants and that the council have perpetual access for river control and if HBRC no longer had use for the land, the land title would come back to the owners.

  • He Toa Takitini gave legal advice to the Ngatarawa Lands Trust that the Ngatarawa lands could not be transferred through the Settlement legislation.

  • Evidently the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have continued to license the land to Mr Mike Glazebrook.

  • In October 2020 land owner representatives Olivia Thompson and Ruth Wong met with the licensee of the land, Mike Glazebrook to build a relationship and discuss our objectives to have our land returned.  It was a positive discussion.

  • In December 2020, in an endeavour to resolve outstanding settlement issues, Olivia Thompson and Ruth Wong met with HTST Liz Munroe and Mike Glazebrook to discuss our options.

  • On 2nd February 2021 we were invited to meet with HBRC CE James Palmer to discuss further opportunities. We shared our concerns about our land and issues around being denied resource consents to develop our land. This being the main reason for the majority of our land blocks and the need to lease the land to existing resource consent holders. Our owners could not access the river because it was land locked and therefore land has been unable to be developed.  

  • We are investigating an opportunity to sign a license  to manage the land, as a temporary measure because our ultimate goal is to eventually have our land returned to us. We understand that only legislation can achieve this, but we are clear that our ultimate goal is to have our land returned to the owners. 

  • This is not over. We must keep our hearts and minds open to our goal to get our land back for our future generations. Legislation and the cruel doings of an unfair and corrupt government allowed for our land to be confiscated, taken, stolen. There was no intention back then, of any good will. 

  • To our whanau, please know that we are doing our best in a civil way, to get back, what is ours.  

Wai Claim 596

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