Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who is entitled to harvest titi court case.

This is the sort of issue where i will put it up for others to read and see, but i won't be taking a line on it.

"One court case has led to battle lines being drawn in the town of Bluff and among Rakiura Maori. That case has thrown decades-old rights to hunt muttonbird on an exclusive group of islands off the coast of Stewart Island into question."


The Council of Chief Descendants case:

Chiefs who signed the 1864 Rakiura Deed of Cession, essentially a purchase agreement, signed away their titi, or muttonbirding rights, and those of their descendants, on any customary basis.

However, rights were established on half of the 36 islands (this half known as the Beneficial Islands) for descendants of the chiefs to continue to harvest muttonbird provided they could prove their ancestry to those signatory chiefs.

The remaining 18 islands, now known as Rakiura Titi Islands (or formerly Crown Titi islands) are controlled by the Crown. These have also been subject to the right of Rakiura Maori to harvest titi once they have been granted a permit to do so.

When Tommy Ashwell's family right to harvest on the Beneficial Islands was challenged, Ngai Tahu Whakapapa advocated that anyone who descended from a common ancestor back in the 1700s had a right to the Beneficial Islands.

That's the view that the Council of Chief Descendants is opposing."


Anonymous said...

There is a lot to unpack here - but know this, all Maori have a right to engage in the harvest of all manner of of creatures. However, not all Maori, or indeed all Ngai Tahu have rights to go to harvest titi on the titi islands. It goes without saying, the these rights are complex. As an example, the right of certain members of Ngai Tahu to take tuna from Te Waihora does not mean they also have rights at Wairewa. The rights are linked to geographical areas and in some cases to the concept of wakawaka.

Some Ngai Tahu have ownership rights in some of the titi islands. Thus the customary right to harvest titi that all Maori have comes togther with the rights of land ownership some Ngai Tahu have in respect of those islands.

In the Ashwell case he does have the right to take titi, but not where he beleived the right existed. And just at that level that is fair enough. But it was an honest mistake, and he is a kaumatua who deserved more respect from those who took it upon themselves to drive him off the island. There were those who did not even want to let him go back and remove his belongings.

There are lots of discussions about tikanga and respect for kaumatua until push comes to shove.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora anon,

Your thoughts and insights are welcome and informative. This issue is not going away and has the potential to really cause big problems. I hope the wise heads work together on this one.