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No. 2 (Spring 1952)
– 46 –

Why Where the Maori
Land Boards Abolished?

KO TE WHAKAKORENGA O NGA POARI WHENUA MAORI

Ko Turi ano tenei. Ka tangi te mapu a te tangata o Te Tari motemea ko te Turi ano tenei nana ra nga patai mo nga mahi a te Tari Maori i panuitia ra ki te putanga tuatahi o Te Ao Hou. Ka maunu te potae o Turi ki runga i te tepu o taua apiha e whakatau ana ki runga i te tepu o taua apiha e whakatau ana ki runga i te turu i te ngaro ke te tangata nona a ka timata te kari o ana patai.

He aha tenei e rongo nei au kua whakakorea nga Poari Whenua Maori?

He tika tena. Kua whakataua e te Paremata tetahi Ture hei whakakore atu i aua Poari Whenua Maori a ko o ratou mana, me a ratou mahi me nga moni hoki kua tukua ki te Kaitieki Maori.

Ko pehea matou i raro o tenei Ture?

Kaore noa iho he rereketanga. Ahakoa kua whakakorea nga Poari ko a ratou mahi ka mau tonu, ma te Kaitieki Maori e mahi a ko nga Apiha Tieki o nga Tari o nga Rohe, i mua ake nei i huaina ko nga Kai-Rehita, ona mangai. Mo te taha ki a koutou moni reti kaore he rereketanga me ahu tonu atu ki nga Tari Maori pera ano i mua ake nei a me kawe ano hoki o koutou hemanawatanga ki reira.

Ma wai e whakatikatika aku tono awhina moni ki te Poari? Ka haere rawa ranei nga tono ki Poneke a tera e roa noa atu pea te wa ka puta mai nga whakatau?

Ka pera tonu ra nga mana tuku moni o te Kaitieki Maori i o nga Poari ra. A pera ano i mua ake nei ko nga tono awhina hei hanga whare hei whakapai whenua me tuku ma te Poari mo nga take Maori, kei Poneke, e whiriwhiri. Otira e whai mana ana te Kaitieki Maori ki te tuku i ana ake moni i runga i te mokete mo nga take tika a kaore e taka ki raro i nga here o te ture ahuwhenua. Me kawe a koutou tono mo nga awhina ki nga Apiha

 

I hope, said Turi, you don't mind answering a question.

Oh no, quite the contrary, said the official. We are here to please.

Well, then, I have heard a lot of discussion about the Maori Land Boards recently. It is true, is it not, that they were abolished on September 30?

That is quite true. Parliament had passed an Act abolishing the Maori Land Boards and transferring all their rights, duties, powers and liabilities to the Maori Trustee.

What difference will that make to us?

Very little. Although the Boards are abolished, practically all their operations will be taken over by the Maori Trustee, and handled in districts by the District Officer, as the Maori Trustee's representative. In the case of rents, a beneficiary will go to the same office and deal with the same clerk as always, and any problem will be handled by the District Officer.

Who will now arrange that Board loan for me? Will the application now have to go to Wellington instead of being decided here, and will there be a lot more delay?

The Maori Trustee will, generally speaking, have the same powers of lending as the Boards used to have. As in the past, Maori housing and land development loan moneys are controlled by the Board of Maori Affairs, in Wellington, but the Maori Trustee can lend moneys for general purposes and on a straight-out mortgage basis without the necessity, say, for coming under a development scheme. However, applications for loans of any kind should be made at District Offices and the District Officer will consider them and send them on to Wellington with his recommendation. This is no different from the former system, since Board loans have for many years been subject to approval by the Board of Maori Affairs, and have had to be sent down to Wellington.

 
– 47 –
 

Kaitieki o nga Tari o Nga Rohe ma ratou e whiriwhiri e tuku ki Poneke me a ratou kupu tautoko. I ki ake ra au kaore he rereketanga i nga ahuatanga o mua ake nei motemea i tukua katoa nga tono awhina moni ma te Poari Mo Nga Take Maori i Poneke e whakatau.

E pai ana ra tena. E mohio ana au ki te Perehitene o Te Poari Whenua Maori o toku rohe engari ko Te Kaitieki Maori nei ko wai ia?

Ko Tipi Ropiha, ko ia te Tumuaki o Te Tari Maori a Te Kaitieki Maori hoki. Ko tenei tuunga ko Te Kaitieki Maori no te tau 1921 i whanau ai i te rironga mai o te mana whakahaere o nga take Maori ko te Kaitieki mo Te Katoa ra te kai whakahaere i mua atu i taua wa—penei i nga whakahaere mo nga whenua Rahui Maori penei i etahi a nga whenua o Taranaki. Mo tetahi wa roa noa atu he tari motuhake te Tari o Te Kaitieki Maori engari no 1934 ka whakakotahitia ki te Tari Maori. No 1946 ka whakaratotia nga mahi a Te Kaitieki Maori ki nga Tari Maori i nga rohe. Apiti atu ki nga mahi kua riro mai nei i te Poari ko etahi o nga mahi a Te Kaitieki Maori he tieki i nga rawa a te hunga kei raro iho i te 21 tau te pakeke, te hunga kei nga whare porangi, nga rawa a te hunga mate kore wira a ko te whakahaere hoki me te utu i nga moni reti o nga whenua rahui Maori.

Ko tau korero ahakoa kua whakakorea nga Poari Whenua Maori kaore noa iho he rereketanga ki te iwi Maori. A he aha i whakakorea ai aua Poari?

Ko te tima tanga mai o nga Poari nei no te tau 1900 a i huaina i tera wa ‘Ko Nga Kaunihera Mo Nga Whenua Maori’ i whakaturia hei riihi hei hoko ranei i nga whenua i tukua ki aua Poari. Ko etahi o nga mema o aua Poari he Maori he mangai no nga iwi me te Perehitene na te Kawanatanga i whakatu. I roto o nga tau ka ririri nga iwi mo o ratou mangai ki runga i aua Poari a nawai ra a i te tau 1913 ka whakakorea atu nga mangai Maori o nga iwi ka noho ko nga Tiati o nga Kooti Whenua Maori me nga Kai-Rehita anake ki aua Poari. No konei tonu ka timata mai nga amuamu kia whakakorea atu nga Poari rokohanga ka tu he Kawanatanga ke a ko etahi atu ahuatanga ka haere tonu aua Poari. He whai take tonu ra nga Paori a i oti nga mahi i roto o nga tau.

No te timatatanga o nga mahi ahuwhenua me nga mahi hanga whare a te Tari Maori ka tukua ma nga Poari era mahi ki nga rohe. Kaore he whakawa i oti pai aua mahi a e haere tonu nei.

Ko te tino take i whakakorea ai nga Poari he whaka whaiti i te mana whakahaere o nga mahi a Te Tari Maori. Ka tau inaianei te

(Kei te wherangi 50)

 

Just one point. I know the President of the Board, but I do not know this Maori Trustee. Who is this Maori Trustee who is to decide on my loan?

Mr Ropiha, who is head of the Department, also holds the office of Maori Trustee. The position of Maori Trustee was constituted in 1921 to take over from the Public Trust Office all Maori matters, and particularly the administration of Maori reserves—for instance the West Coast Settlement Reserves in Taranaki. For a long time the Maori Trustee office was a separate department, but in 1934 it was amalgamated with the Department of Maori Affairs. About 1946 it was found necessary to split up his work, which had previously all been done in Wellington, and provide for it to be handled in districts at the District Offices of the Department. Apart from the work now taken over from the Boards, the Maori Trustee acts as trustee for Maori minors, and persons under disability, and may be appointed to administer Maori estates, as well as administering Maori Reserves and paying out the rents from these.

You have said the abolition of the Maori Land Boards makes practically no difference to the Maori people. Why have they been abolished then?

The Boards were originally set up (under the name of ‘Maori Land Councils’) in 1900 for the cutting up, leasing, and sale of Maori lands vested in them, and were composed of representative Maoris and an appointed president. A good deal of quarrelling and animosity arose out of the election and appointment of Maori members, so that the number of these was whittled away, until, in 1913, it was provided that the Boards would consist of the Judge and Registrar of the Maori Land Court district only. About this time there were moves afoot to abolish the Boards but because of a change in government, and because the Boards were legal bodies and could hold land, etc., this step was not taken. The Boards as they existed were convenient bodies to carry out different jobs as they arose, and gradually acquired a number of miscellaneous powers and functions.

When land development and the Maori housing scheme started, the Department had only a very small organisation outside Wellington. For that reason the enormous amount of field work, accounts work, and so on that suddenly became necessary outside Wellington was largely given to the Maori Land Boards to handle. In performing these functions the close contact of the Boards with the Maori people concerned was of great benefit, and much valuable assistance was given to Maori farming and housing, in particular.

(Continued on page 50)

TRIBUTE FROM MAORI AUTHOR

Sir,

My son, who attended the ceremonies at Tikitiki, brought me a copy of Te Ao Hou. I had been expecting its appearance for some time and now it has come. I glanced through it and for an initial number it is creditable. Reading matter is one of the great needs of the Maori people, and I am sure Te Ao Hou will help to fill up the void in Maori life. I enjoyed reading the account of the conference of the Welfare League. The League is taking to some extent the place of the defunct Young Maori Party. On the East Coast the Mothers' Institute has held sway for years, and I doubt whether they will change.

Thank you for the mention of my books and the complimentary things you said about them. The books are very popular. One educated girl said to me, ‘Thank you for the Proverbs. Do you know I never knew one of them before I read your books.’ I am enclosing my annual subscription, and I am sorry I am unable to send more.

R. T. Kohere.