Maori claims on Motiti Island

A group claiming to represent Motiti hapu have applied to the High Court for special rights. File photo.

An application has been made to the High Court by a Maori group looking to claim customary rights over the area around Motiti Island.

The Motiti Rohe Moana Trust has made the application on behalf of several hapu, although not all hapu named in the application support the bid.

The trust is seeking 'the right and responsibility to act as kaitiaki (guardian) of the wahi tapu (sacred places) and taonga tuku iho (ancestral treasures) within the common coastal marine area” of Motiti Island.

They also seek the ability to impose a 'rahui”, or ban, 'if required for the protection of the site or resource”.

Among the sacred places are reefs, including Astrolabe Reef, upon which the wreck of the Rena sits.

Buddy Mikaere – whose hapu is named in the application, although he opposes it – says the group have until next year to push their case.

'You have the ability up until next year to make a claim for customary marine title over a defined area of sea. This also includes the right to carry out customary activities in that area as well, which can be anything apart from fishing, which is covered by separate legislation.”

He thinks there is a monetary motivation behind the claim.

'The group making this application have signed up with the owners and insurers of the Rena, who wish to dump the wreck of the Rena out on Motiti.

'If this happens, the trust and those they're representing get a substantial pay-out. If they can win this customary marine title case, they will then in effect become the equivalent of the environment court for that area of the seabed.”

If that happens, they'll have jurisdiction over the Rena wreck – and will likely keep it where it is.

'They say they represent all the hapu on Motiti Island, but we say no you don't,” argues Buddy.

'You don't represent our hapu (Ngai Te Hapu). Patuwai also say they don't represent them. Some of the hapu they name in their application also don't exist anymore.”

Buddy says he and many of his kinfolk are on the side who want the owners of the Rena to take the wreck away. He questions the motives of the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust.

'At the end of the day, it's all about the money.”

He says he and others will be going to court and opposing the trust's application.

The Motiti Rohe Moana Trust has been contacted for comment.

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Posted on 16-12-2016 15:19 | By chatter

Seriously - how long is this buls... going to go on.Always the few that spoil it for the majority...


Posted on 16-12-2016 19:01 | By Capt_Kaveman

more hand outs

here we go again

Posted on 16-12-2016 21:07 | By old trucker

Golly gosh when is going to end, gosh all the money paid out is incredible, GOSH come on you people stop all this NONSENSE, there is a lot of hardship out there and you WANT WANT WANT,we NEED a BYPASS in Kati kati but there is NO MONEY as it is always you PEOPLE keep taking it OFF US, lets get over all this, there is other things more important than this in life than wanting OWNER SHIP over land,there is enough WARS overseas and people hurting, GOSH stop all this NOW,but GOVT,. will GIVE IN and it will all DIEDOWN when you get the MONEY, as this is what it is all about,BLOODY GREED,my shillings worth,No1 Thankyou,10-4 out.


Posted on 16-12-2016 22:12 | By no onehome

Obviously there is not a united body just leave the Rena where it is let the marine life grow on it's carcass and enhance the eco-system.

Just before each election........

Posted on 16-12-2016 22:43 | By groutby

this sort of thing will happen. and to gain ( or continue in this case) the support of the Maori party and other interested parties, the government "of the day" will miraculously become very keen to listen to almost any claim I would say, however "left field" it may be, that in my opinion is a down side of MMP.........


Posted on 17-12-2016 06:49 | By OAP

Too right it is about Money, and power, and the attempts to place one group of people in a superior position. It is time the Government took a stand on this and truly promoted New Zealand as a land of "one people".Alternatively perhaps we need a mass DNA testing programme, which could once and for all determine the origins of all the races in New Zealand, and finally expose the truth of who inhabited New Zealand first .

Talking sense.

Posted on 17-12-2016 08:38 | By laugeo

Buddy Mikaere is talking a lot of sense here. He clearly knows what motivates the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust and is rightly apposed to what the are trying to do. What is needed is to ensure that he and those that are standing with him get the support they need when this case is heard. Let's hope that this is not one of those things that gets resolved behind closed doors and that the public get to have their say. Good on you Buddy!


Posted on 17-12-2016 11:29 | By peecee09

Stop trying to take money off me with this kind of BS. We are sick and tired of this. You use the words sacred,spiritual,ancestral,etc etc when you really mean MONEY. And this time you are trying to involve nonexistent hapus in this rediculous money grab. Thank you Buddy for your exposure of thes leaches, we have had enough of this rubbish.

She'll Be Right Mate

Posted on 17-12-2016 11:52 | By Dollie

No doubt Buddie's thinking that it's all about money and his questions regarding the motives of the Rohe Trust will be proven in the court where this debacle will be played out. Go Buddie!

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