Rata, the Effect of Māori Land Law on Ahikāroa
Whaanga, M. J. (2012). Rata, the Effect of Māori Land Law on Ahikāroa (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8139
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8139
Rata, the effect of Māori land law on ahikāroa is an examination of the special relationship a whānau of Ngāi Tahu (ki Wairoa) has had since 1868 with their ancestral land Tutuotekaha. The effects of Māori land law on traditional concepts of land tenure are analysed from the advent of the Native Land Court in the 1860s through to a modern shareholding in the Anewa Trust. An analysis of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 looks at the basis for the current legislation and how the principles are applied in the case study central to this thesis, an application to have Rata farm returned to the Whaanga whānau. The research and writing is multi-disciplinary, combining history, Māori land law (ture) and Māori land lore (tikanga and traditional ecological knowledge). An auto-ethnographic approach is balanced by the commentary and judgements of the Māori Land Court and the Māori Appellate Court which are documented in the final section of the thesis. This thesis questions the canons of Māori land ownership and management – consolidation, amalgamation and incorporation – and posits whether these forms of land holding have become yet another type of alienation. The three main areas are I) Ahikāroa Chapters 2 and 3 examine traditional Māori land tenure; definitions of mana whenua, the obligations as well as the authority; and traditional ecological knowledge, agriculture and Māori land lore. The latter illustrates ways of knowing the land, how, why and when its resources were used. Members of the community of Iwitea were interviewed to provide accounts of usage of some of the traditional resources known to remain on the Tutuotekaha blocks. II) From gardeners and gatherers to agricultural shareholders Chapters 4, 5 and 6 examine the shift from traditional tenure and land usage to large-scale agricultural shareholdings. The changes as land passed through the Native Land Court from 1868 are contextualised within the upheaval and radical reconfiguring of Māori society in the Mahia and Wairoa areas as Pākehā settlement increased, and the region was engulfed by the Hauhau and Te Kooti conflicts. This section contains an overview of Māori land law from 1862 to 1987 and the ideological conflict between the colonisers and the colonised. As well, it looks at the influence of Sir James Carroll and Sir Āpirana Ngata, the reasons that Māori went into large-scale farming and how Ngata’s 1931 policies set the model for the incorporations and trusts that still hold most of the district’s Māori land today. III) Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, philosophy versus implementation Chapters 7 through to 11 centre on Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and the application to the Māori Land Court to partition Rata farm from the Anewa Trust. The philosophy of the Act is examined, aided by Deputy Chief Judge Fox’s commentary. This section documents the processes of filing the application to partition, the discussions and outcomes of a judicial hearing, two Māori Land Court hearings and subsequent appeals to the Māori Appellate Court.
University of Waikato
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