Hineuru is an iwi based northwest of Napier in the Hawke’s Bay region.
In October 2009, the Crown recognised the mandate of Ngāti Hineuru Iwi Incorporated to enter negotiations for the comprehensive settlement of all Hineuru historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.
On 2 October 2012, the Crown and Hineuru signed an Agreement in Principle which formed the basis for this settlement. The Hineuru Deed of Settlement was initialled between 24 and 25 July 2014 and signed on 2 April 2015. The settlement will be implemented after the legislation is passed.
The Office of Treaty Settlements, with the support of the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and other government agencies, represented the Crown in day-to-day negotiations.
The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon Christopher Finlayson, represented the Crown in high-level negotiations with Hineuru.
Summary of the historical background to the claims by Hineuru
In the mid-19th century the tipuna of Hineuru lived and cultivated in the Waipunga and Mōhaka river valleys and at Tarawera, Waiparati and other kāinga in the mountainous inland region between Hawke’s Bay and Taupō Moana.
In November 1851 the Crown purchased the Ahuriri block of approximately 265,000 acres from another iwi without including Hineuru in the negotiations. The Crown did not reserve any land from the Ahuriri block for Hineuru.
From the mid-1860s some Hineuru converted to Pai Mārire. Panapa, the Pai Mārire leader amongst Hineuru, established a Pai Mārire settlement at Waiparati.
In 1866 Panapa and the Hineuru rangatira Te Rangihīroa wrote to the Crown that they would come with a party to coastal Hawke’s Bay in response to a Crown invitation to meet. The Crown viewed this party as a threat to the region’s security. In October 1866, after the expiry of an ultimatum calling for their surrender, Crown forces attacked a group of people, including
Hineuru, camped at Ōmarunui. On the same day Crown forces also intercepted and surrounded, and then subsequently attacked, another group led by Te Rangihīroa near Pētane. About 35 Māori, including Te Rangihīroa and other Hineuru people, were killed in the two attacks. Crown forces subsequently pursued Hineuru and other Māori, who escaped the attacks, into the Hineuru rohe and plundered the kāinga at Waiparati as well as the surrounding area. By the end of 1866 Hineuru had abandoned nearly all of their kāinga and cultivations due to conflict with the Crown.
Thirty-four Hineuru individuals were among the 86 prisoners of the Crown captured at Ōmarunui and the conflict near Pētane. Most were transported to the Chatham Islands and detained without trial in harsh conditions for almost two years. In 1868 the prisoners escaped and became embroiled in a war with the Crown. During this war Crown forces attacked Ngātapa in January 1869. After the attack a severed head reported to belong to Nikora of Hineuru was brought back to the Crown camp. Crown forces summarily executed a number of prisoners captured at Ngātapa.
In 1867 the Crown proclaimed a large confiscation district in Hawke’s Bay that included much of the rohe of Hineuru. The Crown subsequently retained approximately 43,000 acres in the Tarawera Reserve, Te Hāroto and Waitara blocks, in the core of the Hineuru rohe. The Crown returned the remainder of the land in the confiscation district within the Hineuru rohe, including
the Tarawera and Tataraakina blocks, to individual Māori. This excluded a number of Hineuru from the titles for Tarawera and Tataraakina, reducing the Hineuru interest in the Tarawera block to that of a minority.
Between 1909 and 1924 Hineuru repeatedly petitioned Parliament and protested to the Crown about their grievances in respect of the Tarawera and Tataraakina titles. The Crown acquired parts of the Tarawera block in 1923 and 1924. In 1924 the Crown promoted legislation that allowed the Native Land Court to award land in Tarawera and Tataraakina to Hineuru individuals descended from those excluded from the titles in 1870. As a result the Native Land Court made a number of changes to the titles to the two blocks in the 1920s. In 1952 the Crown promoted further legislation that overturned the titles awarded as a result of the 1924 legislation, and empowered the Native Land Court to compile new ownership lists for the blocks. The new ownership lists excluded Hineuru individuals who had been admitted to the titles after 1924. These changes resulted in decades of uncertainty about tenure, significant financial burdens and social dislocation for Hineuru.
The northern part of the Hineuru rohe was not included in the confiscation. After 1877 the Native Land Court investigated title to a number of blocks in the Hineuru rohe, and the Crown and private purchasers subsequently acquired large areas of Hineuru land. The Crown employed purchasing tactics such as the payment of pre-title advances, declining to pay regular rents on lands it had agreed to lease and the imposition of monopoly powers. The Crown also purchased individual interests in Heruiwi 4A2B after the owners made collective decisions not to sell, and took a significant amount of land for survey costs. Today Hineuru are virtually landless.
Hineuru re-established a community at Te Hāroto in the late-19th century. However, in the 20th century Hineuru faced economic insecurity, which was accompanied by widespread poverty, poor housing, disease, and the subsequent migration of many Hineuru from their traditional rohe.