Report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Manukau Claim
This claim to the Manukau Harbour has raised many separate issues. It
is important for the whole community not only because of its far-reaching
nature but also because of the deep-seated sense of injustice that Maori
people feel and which we have felt obliged to investigate.
As the finding shows, our researches reveal that the Manukau Maori
people were attacked without just cause by British troops, their homes and
villages ransacked and burned, their horses and cattle stolen. They were
then forced to leave their lands and were treated as rebels, all their property
being confiscated in punishment for a rebellion that never took place.
These events happened before our jurisdiction commenced in 1975 but
we explored them because consequences have followed that still have
their effects today.
We were also required to investigate the effects on the waters of the
Manukau of the steel mill at Waiuku and the slurry pipe-line project which
is about to be put into operation.
The liquigas terminal to be built in the Papakura inlet was another
matter for investigation, and the operation of the Auckland Metropolitan
Sewage Treatment Plant at Mangere was also the subject of complaint.
We have come to see all the matters raised by this claim as illustrating in
various ways the powerful feeling among Maori New Zealanders that the
Treaty of Waitangi is a contract made with European New Zealanders
which the pakeha has failed to honour.
The Maori New Zealander points out, with justification, that at a time
when his people outnumbered the European by over one hundred to one
he agreed to allow the European to live and settle in New Zealand on
terms and conditions solely agreed to in writing by both parties. He
says that he has kept his side of the bargain throughout its existence.
The Manukau claim throws into relief the way in which it is said that
the European New Zealander has failed to live up to his obligations.
Our task has been to examine these complaints and reach a conclusion
within the limits of our statutory instructions and authority.
What follows is the result of our hearings, our researches and our most
We recommend to all New Zealanders an equally careful consideration
of the matters we have had to bring to the notice of the Crown.