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Waitangi Tribunal Releases Mohaka Ki Ahuriri Report

Thursday, 5 August, 2004

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The Tribunal’s Mohaka ki Ahuriri Report released in June 2004 covers twenty Hawke’s Bay claims covering the district bounded by the Tutaekuri River to the south, Hawke Bay to the east, the Waiau River to the north, the inland ranges and the old Hawke’s Bay provincial boundary to the west.

The claims were heard by the Tribunal between November 1996 and February 2000 and concerned the loss of land and the barriers to the utilisation of the remaining land.  Land loss occurred as a result of pre-1865 Crown purchases, the operation of the Native Land Court, the 1867 Mohaka-Waikare confiscation, and later Crown purchasing. Barriers to the utilisation of remaining land included problems with title, lack of development opportunities, fragmentation of ownership, and lack of access.

Key findings of the Tribunal included:

  • There was no rebellion that could have justified the confiscation of land.
  • Land returned after the confiscation was not returned to the customary right holders.
  • The Crown frequently acted in breach of Treaty principles in its dealings over the land.
  • The Native land legislation introduced a Maori land tenure that seriously destabilised customary Maori society.
  • Assistance to Maori to develop their remaining land holdings was not forthcoming and represented a failure to treat Maori equitably.
  • Where Maori had retained land, it was usually infertile and remote which meant that the owners never had the opportunities to derive benefit from the developing Hawke’s Bay economy.

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