2 March 2012
Ngati Ranginui welcomes science and innovation move
A Tauranga-based iwi passionate about using science and innovation to help grow their people, and protect and develop
their natural resources, is welcoming the decision by the Ministry of Science and Innovation to create a chief advisor
for Maori development position.
“Our hapu of Ngati Ranginui want to get more involved in science and innovation and look at ways it can help lift our
whanau, whenua, waters and all communities living within our tribal area,” said Antoine Coffin, the chairman of Te Roopu
Whakamana o Ngati Ranginui.
“The ministry is being proactive for creating this position and we commend them for that.”
Ngati Ranginui’s plans to become more science and innovation-savvy is reflected in the negotiations it is currently
undertaking with the Crown to settle historic Treaty of Waitangi breaches which saw the iwi lose thousands of hectares
of land. That loss of land also resulted in them suffering socially and culturally on an inter-generational basis.
“In the statement of intent we have with the Crown we have asked that we be given direct access to a number of
government agencies, and this ministry is one of them. In return the ministry has heard our plea by agreeing to work
directly with all iwi in Tauranga, including Ngati Ranginui.”
It is common for many iwi who have negotiated Treaty settlements to seek close relationships with government agencies
such as Te Puni Kokiri, Department of Conservation and local authorities. However, seeking to work with others agencies,
including the Ministry of Science and Innovation, is a new initiative in Treaty negotiations.
“Tauranga district is one of the country’s fastest growing areas and we have a very sensitive ecological system here. We
want to ensure that when the time comes for our hapu to take back control of their natural resources, that they have the
capacity to lead that.”
Te Roopu Whakamana o Ngati Ranginui is mandated by the iwi to lead its Treaty negotiations with the Crown.