Media Release: Ngāti Kahu book gives real insight into Treaty of Waitangi

Kahutianui painting on cover by Theresa Reihana, 2003.

Kahutianui painting on cover by Theresa Reihana, 2003.

Ngāti Kahu book gives real insight into Treaty of Waitangi Claims process

Many iwi have been through the Treaty of Waitangi Claims process to try and resolve past injustices, however very few have been able to document the detail of the process, provide an analysis of the policy and behaviour of the government both before and during the process and then write a book about it, while still waiting for a partial settlement of their claims. Ngāti Kahu have done just that.

Their new book, Ngāti Kahu - Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, to be launched on Wednesday 3rd January 2018, provides a unique insight into a long and difficult process that began in 1984 with McCully Matiu lodging the first Ngāti Kahu claim in the Waitangi Tribunal and which continues today.

The book provides an in-depth history of Ngāti Kahu describing the iwi of Ngāti Kahu through the traditions and histories of each of the sixteen hapū as told by kuia and kaumātua in order to keep the past alive for future generations. These include histories of poverty, deprivation and marginalisation at the hands of the Crown, and the loss of 95 percent of the lands of the iwi along with remedies needed to redress these injustices.

The book also examines the range of techniques used by the Crown to justify its actions and the way these laid the groundwork for continuing injustices.

The book is written by Professor Margaret Mutu, Archdeacon Lloyd Pōpata, Te Kani Williams, Ānahera Herbert-Graves, Reremoana Rēnata, JudyAnn Cooze, Zarrah Pineaha, Tania Thomas and Te Ikanui Kingi-Waiaua.

“Ngāti Kahu risked losing the wealth of knowledge and wisdom so freely shared by our kuia and kaumātua in Waitangi Tribunal hearings and in negotiations with the Crown” said Professor Mutu. “Their stories are taonga, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, often angry but always captivating."

Although the book gives a comprehensive, historical account, it also was produced with an eye to the future.

“We wanted to make sure that our tamariki mokopuna know our traditions, our histories, our stories as we know them” said Professor Mutu. “We wanted to empower them to recover what rightfully belongs to Ngāti Kahu and to ensure that the Crown honours the promises made by Queen Victoria in 1840 to uphold the tino rangatiratanga and sovereignty of all hapū.”

This is a comprehensive, detailed, well-researched, illustrated history for current and future generations of Ngāti Kahu and will appeal to all those interested in iwi and Māori history, New Zealand political and social history, Treaty of Waitangi issues, social injustice and redress, indigenous peoples’ sovereignty and self-determination, and the relationship between Māori and the Crown.

The text is mostly in English with sections in te reo Māori, and in Ngāti Kahu dialect, making the book also useful for all students of te reo Māori.

The book will be launched at 11.00am on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 at Te Paatu Marae, SH1, Pamāpūria.