This is a slightly revised version of the evidence submitted to the Waitangi Tribunal. As well as a number of minor ammendments read to the Tribunal, paragraph 4.4 has been substantially ammended and paragraph 3.21-4 has been added. 26 March 1991.)
Keywords: Environment & Resources; Maori;
1. Introduction and Disclaimer
1.1 My name is Brian Easton. By profession I am an economist and social statistician.
1.2 I have been asked by Counsel for the Muriwhenua Iwi to assist the Waitangi Tribunal by providing some guidance on the economic issues related to their claims about Te Oneroa-o Tohe (Ninety Mile Beach), and on other claims they have made in the area of the Aupouri Peninsula, based on breaches of the principles of the Tiriti o Waitangi, which they say have occurred.
1.3 Unfortunately, because of time and resource limitations I have not been able to visit the area. Thus this evidence relies heavily on secondary material. However I hope that my extensive experiences as a practising economist in New Zealand for over two decades will enable me to present a framework around which the Tribunal can consider the economic issues involved in the claim.
1.4 Although I am primarily an economist concerned with contemporary economic issues, I think it appropriate to begin with an account of the economic issues from the perspective of the Maori at about the time of the signing of the Tiriti. The evidence I presented to the Tribunal in the matter of the broadcasting claim (Wai 150) shows I have a little – albeit Pakeha – knowledge in this area.
1.5 The approach leads naturally on to the issues of environmental regulation and the benefits to the Iwi, the locality, and the nation if the Tribunal should find that the claims are justified, and that assets should be returned to the Iwi and/or other reparations should be made.
1.6 This evidence is agnostic to the question as to whether the claims are justified. I have not seen all the evidence, nor have I the expertise to judge it. I hope, however, that by this evidence I can assist the Tribunal in a better understanding of the economic consequences of any decisions it makes.
2. Classical Maori Environmental Regulation and Property Rights
2.1 The report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Muriwhenua Fishing Claim establishes that the Iwi had property rights -in effect -over the various fishing species in the seas surrounding the Aupouri Peninsula. By extension, the report implies that property rights were held over a whole range of resources known to the Maori, as well as over land.
2.2 Under article 2 of the Tiriti o Waitangi the rangatiratanga of all land and other resources were confirmed to be held by the iwi. I take it that following the Tribunal’s recent decision with regard to the broadcasting spectrum, that there is no great dispute that resources are covered by article 2, and certainly there should be no disagreement about the ones under consideration here.
2.3 Rangatiratanga is a much broader economic concept than ownership of property rights. (It also involves non-economic notions, but they are not germane to this submission.) In my view, following a reading of a number of standard works on actual Maori practices, the English term which best equates with the economic content rangatiratanga is “stewardship”. Ultimate ownership of the property rights (in the European sense of the phrase) was held by the iwi, past, present, and future. The rangatira were responsible for the management of the rights, in the interests of the iwi, including the allocation of use rights to various hapu, whanau, and individuals.
2.4 Included in the management responsibilities of the rangatira were those for environmental regulation and protection, which supported by customary practice meant that the iwi were able to maintain a self sustaining economy at a high standard of welfare.
2.5 Perhaps the best known regulatory device used by the classical Maori was the “rahui”. Firth describes this term as an “economic prohibition”[#], and Williams as “a mark to warn people against trespassing: used in the case of tapu, or for temporary protection of fruits, birds, or fish etc”[##]. A more recent Ngai Tahu publication used the broader “restrictions, controls, also a statement that a resource is being actively managed, ‘No Trespass’ sign, reserve, reservation”.[###]
[# R. Firth, Economics of the New Zealand Maori, 2ed, (Govt Printer, 1959) p.258-262.]
[## H. Williams, A Dictionary of the Maori Language, 7ed, (Govt Printer, 1971) p.321.]
[### T.M.Tau, A.Goddall, D.Palmer, & R.Tau Te Whakapatau Kaupapa: Ngai Tahu Resource Management Strategy for the Canterbury Region (Aoraki Press, 1990) p.7-8.]
2.6 However a rahui is only a part of the full range of measures used by the classical Maori for environmental regulation. It was an example of tikanga: “the right way of doing things” ( oral source), the “customs” and the “rules” (Williams, p.416). It is for those more knowledgeable in the ways of the Maori than I to elaborate this concept, but an illustration will serve the purposes of this submissions.
2.7 According to R.H. Matthews in 1910
“Fifty years ago shark-fishing was considered and looked forward to as a national holiday by the Rarawas and all the surrounding hapus. The traditional customs and regulations were strictly observed and rigidly enforced. The season for the fishing of kapeta ( dogfish) was restricted to two days only in a year. The first time was about full moon in January, and by preference during the night named in the Maori lunar calendar rakanui, or two evenings after the full moon. This fishing was always by night. The second time of fishing, called the pakoki, was two weeks later just after the new moon (whawha-ata), and was always held in daylight. This closed the season for the year. Anyone who killed a shark after this would be liable to the custom of muru, and would be stripped of his property. N o one was permitted to commence fishing before the signal to start was given; a violation of this rule would lead to the splitting-up of the canoes of the offenders. So far as I can ascertain, the two day’s restriction was a local custom, …..”[#]
[# reported in Waitangi Tribunal Muriwhenua Fishing Report (Govt Printer, 1989) p.68.]
2.8 Matthews gives considerably more detail about the practices surrounding the shark-fishing in a rivetting account of an expedition he was involved in 1855. But what is important for our purposes was that we observe a series of rules to regulate a harvest festival -for that is what it was -including penalties for breaking the rules. Moreover while there were many reasons for the various practices, one of their effects was to conserve the shark for another season.
2.9 That this was effective follows from Matthews recording the astonishing returns from the expeditions. He mentions that “the total number of sharks caught by the fleet, including those taken at the pakoki a fortnight later, was about seven thousand, an average of about sixty-five per canoe for each of the two trips …” (p.73). The average weight of each shark appears to have been about 22½ kilograms, so the total catch was about 160 tonnes.[#]
[# Matthews reports that 265 sharks weighed about 6 tons. p.73.]
2.10 From the perception of the modern day, the practices may be inefficient. A time and motion study expert, or a Treasury Official, could no doubt advise how to increase the harvest with fewer inputs in a particular year. However practically, the tikanga ensured the hapu had sufficient for its needs, and there would be a good catch in following years. It was a procedure for harvesting the sustainable yield.
2.11 There are a number of lessons to be learned from all this. For an economist it nicely illustrates the principle, which is being rediscovered by the profession, that comprehensive property rights, fully allocated, may be an efficient means for environmental guardianship (the Maori word may be “kaitiakitanga”). In my view the claims by extremists that private property rights always lead to a better environmental regulation cannot be totally sustained, but the classical Maori illustrates well the general principle that very often it does work. Practically this means, that for many purposes, returning Maori will result in better environmental resources to the environmental management.
2.12 For the wider issues with which the Tribunal is concerned, this brief review has the implication that the rangatiratanga guaranteed in the second article of the Tiriti encompassed the preservation of tikanga, at least as far as its economic content was concerned. (Some scholars would claim an even wider compass, but my remarks are confined to economic issues only .)
3. After the Tiriti
3.1 The story of the post 1840 unconstitutional alienation of Maori land, by illegal actions or by legal actions arising from laws inconsistent with the Tiriti, is broadly known, and the Tribunal and historians are filling in the details. Recent work has also added to our knowledge of the alienation of Maori property rights over fish.
3.2 In my view the legislation which individualised title and so limited the ability of the iwi or hapu to develop collectively its lands was not only contrary to the Tiriti of Waitangi, but was bad economic policy. What was needed was a mechanism by which the land held by each iwi could be developed to its highest economic potential in the interests of the owners. Instead the individualisation of title either left the land under-developed (or even unutilized) or resulted in its alienation, effectively forced upon the owners by the unsatisfactory legislation.
(More generally, a persistent problem throughout the economic development literature is land tenure, the lack of land reform, and the consequential under-productivity of agriculture. Pakeha New Zealand developed a very efficient form of land tenure, which has been a major factor in the success of its agricultural and forestry sectors. But the price of that success was bulldozing over the interests of the indigenous owners of the land.)
3.3 Given the previous section it is also evident that the alienation of property right also led to the destruction of the Maori regulation and protection of environmental resources.
3.4 The destruction was not immediate and total. I understand evidence is being presented to the Tribunal that some regulatory practices were enforced less than forty years ago, and penalties were imposed even on Pakeha who flouted them. That such customs survived is indicative not only of their strength within the Maori community, but that the laws promulgated in Wellington did not always have their full effect in the districts outside.[#]
[# A splendid illustration of this is found in H. Riseborough’s Days of Darkness (Allen & Unwin, 1989) which clearly shows that while the legislature in Wellington thought it had confiscated lands in South Taranaki, the Maori “rebels” continued to live on them as if nothing had happened. The sad events the book describes are in part due to the misunderstanding that statute law need not necessarily reflect practice ( or justice ).]
3.5 This process of alienation and destruction had two important economic consequences.
3.6 First, the undermining of the ownership of the resource base of the Maori set back their opportunities for development. On the arrival of the European the Maori had shown considerable responsiveness to the new opportunities that occurred. The speed with which they adopted arable cropping is impressive, and demonstrates an admirable degree of practical economic skills. However the alienation of the land throughout the late 19th century ( either directly or by change of ownership rules), meant that the Maori was unable to switch into the new pastoral industries centred around the husbanding of dairy cattle and crossbred sheep. Instead, their economic role became marginalised, and it appears that many moved back into a form of a subsistence economy, in marked contrast to the dominant role they played in the 1850s in arable farming.[#]
[# I have not seen an authoritative scholarly work that traces this economic process. My explanation arises from interpreting the general accounts of the period.]
3.7 Second, even that subsistence economy was difficult. The loss of the resource base, both land and other resources, such as fish by legal alienation and birds as the forests were destroyed, meant the living standards were much lower than the New Zealand European ones, even though a generation or two earlier it seems likely that they were comparable.
3.8 The result was to trap the Maori into a cycle of economIc deprivation,[#] from which to this day the majority are yet to break out, although there is evidence that the gap between non-Maori and Maori male incomes is slowly closing, as will be reported below (para 3.17).
[# I. Pool’s just published Te Iwi Maori (AUP, 1991) provides some helpful insights into this process in demographic terms.]
3.9 A recent paper by economist Paul Dalziel makes a point which all economists, among others, need to take seriously .[#] He refers to a tendency among economists (and others) to describe the poor state of the Maori people in the latter part of the nineteenth century as being due to “demoralisation” (usually as a result of the outcome of the Land Wars and disease). Dalziel’s response is worth quoting in full:
“ …between the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and 1921, the amount of land in Maori title diminished from 66.4 million acres to under 4.8 million acres, a reduction of more than 90 percent. Imagine for a moment that the asset bases of Fletcher Challenge or Electricorp were reduced by nine-tenths, with no compensation for large amounts of the asset-stripping. We [i.e. economists] would not have to resort to exploring the psychological mood of the managers or the shareholders to explain why the companies’ performances would be decimated. Similarly, as economists, we should be able to explain the impact on Maori tribes of uncompensated land confiscations, dishonourable land dealings, and unfilled land sale promises, far better than we have managed so far.” (p.33)
[# P. Dalziel, Economist’s Analyses of Maori Economic Experience: 1959-1989 (Paper presented to New Zealand Economists Association Conference 1990, available from author at economics department, University of Lincoln).]
3.10 Amen.[#] Except one would add that it was not only the land assets of the Maori which were decimated. Other resources were as well.
[# Neither Dalziel or I would claim these to be original thoughts, except perhaps among economists. M.K. Sorrenson’s seminal M.A. thesis reported as “Land Purchase Methods and their Effect on the Maori Population, 1865-1901” (J. Polynesian Soc., v.65,3, pp.83-112) deserves greater recognition.]
3.11 Later, Dalziel goes on
“just as resource deprivation was the beginning of the problem of Maori poverty, so resource transfers to the Maori must be a part of the solution. Following Treasury,[#] an appealing mechanism for achieving this is taxpayer-funded compensation to Maori tribes found to be justified by the Waitangi Tribunal; “appealing” because of its explicit link to the primary cause of the current problems.” (p.35)
[# Government Management (The Treasury, 1987) pp.328-332.]
3.12 Dalziel is right to include the caveat “part” solution, although the wider issues are outside the scope of this Tribunal. But it is well to rehearse them here.
3.13 The material standard of living is, in simple terms, the result of the positive interaction of resources, capital assets, labour including the skills and education embodied in that labour, and the methods and technologies by which these are organised. Thus the resource base by itself is insufficient to give a high standard of living.[#]
[# Except in unusual circumstances such as it being a large oilfield, and even then the situation may well be unsustainable.]
3.14 It helps to have started off with a good resource base, which enables the building up of the capital assets and the quality human capital, and the development of good organisational methods and technology.
3.15 What this means is that the transfer back to the Maori of the resource base from which it was alienated will not be sufficient to remove all the deprivation they have experienced, nor will it fully break the cycle. Nevertheless it can help, in a significant way.
3.16 It would be fair to say that New Zealand seems to be embarking on a new course in Maori development, albeit it one that has echoes of Te Puea and Apirana Ngata in the 1930s.
3.17 If I judge the mood correctly it arises from the rejection of the efficacy of the Welfare State in remedying poor Maori economic performance. I am hesitant to make such a sweeping judgement. The record, measured by age adjusted incomes shows the Maori males to the total male population relativity has been steadily improving throughout the post war era. As the tabulation and figure below show, (male)[#] Maori incomes have been increasing faster than the New Zealand average, but the are still lower than the average.
[# The method is not applied to the female population because of the marked differences in the fertility life cycles.]
Maori] to Total Age Adjusted Income Relativity
Source: B.H. Easton Income Distribution in New Zealand (NZIER, 1983) p.210, with subsequent updatings for 1981 and 1986 using the same method.
[# This is for those who classified themselves as of Maori descent. Of those who report themselves as half or more Maori the ratio is 78.5 percent. The first definition is closest to that used in earlier Censuses.]
3.18 The increase of the relativity from 66.4 percent in 1951 to 81.6 percent in 1986 represents an annual increase of Maori male incomes relative to non-Maori ones of about .6 percent a year. If the creep continues at its present rate the Maori will catch up with the average some time in the 2020s.
3.19 The details of the mechanisms which elevated, albeit slowly, Maori incomes are not known (but worthy of investigation). In the interim we can say that it seems likely that those which are loosely grouped under the title of the ‘welfare state’ have been important, but -evidently -not enough to attain equality in a reasonable time.
3.20 Moreover the scope of the welfare state is under pressure, with the promise by the fourth National Government to “redesign the welfare state”. A particular concern has been the possibility that the poor have been trapped in a “cycle of dependency” by the system of state support. (It should be emphasised that the phrase, while attractive, has no systematic empirical underpinning.) It is particularly disappointing that the first steps of the new policy, in the package announced on December 19th 1990 package, have an immediate impact of the Maori which is 45 percent more onerous than on the national average.[#]
[# The result and method is reported in B.H.Easton “Assessing the Impacts of the National Welfare Cuts”, Listener, February 11, 1991, p.73.]
3.21 What alternative the government has in mind is not clear, although there may be some insights from the report just released by the Minister of Maori Affairs entitled [#] The report is a 100 A4 pages, and has only just been released. But a brief review of it has some relevance for this submission.
[# D.Henare, M. Thompson, & L Comer, “A Report of the Ministerial Planning Group”, March 1991.]
3.22 Following the presentation to the Tribunal I finally obtained a report which provided a statistical base to discuss the people’s situation in the area. The material reported here is necessarily brief, but does cover provide some indications of the situation of the communities living along the Ninety Mile Beach.
3.23 The ethnic and median adult income measures by each sub-district in the 1986 Census was as follows:
Source: C.L. Marra, A Community Profile, prepared fro Kaitaia Social Welfare Dsitrict and Published by DSW Kaitaia, based on the 1986 Population Census.
3.24 To assess the average adult income it should be noted that the figure for New Zealand as a whole in the 1986 Census was $13,400. Thus the people in the Kaitaia Borough were 13 percent below the New Zealand median, while those in Te Kao were 30 percent below. The figures confirm that the area is poor compared to most of New Zealand.
3.25 I tried to estimate by what level the Maori was depressed below the local average, by observing that those regions with a high proportion of Maori tended to be those with the lowest incomes. However, there is so much statistical variability by locality (perhaps caused by unemployment, by occupation, and by the response effect of not specifying the income) that I was unable to obtain a secure estimate. Hopefully unit record data could be used to make this assessment. What we can be sure of is that Maori in the area have lower incomes than the national average, and possibly lower than the other ethnic groups in the region.
4. Ka Awatea and a Development Strategy for the Rural Maori
4.1 There is no executive summary to the report, and much is concerned with re-organising existing institutional structures. However chapter 4 “Strategies for Change” appears to be at the core of the development strategy .
4.2 It covers 18 pages, half of which deal with education, the labour market (and training), and health. The remainder is on economic resource development. Of the 36 recommendations which arise from the chapter, 10 are on education, 10 on training, 6 on health, and 10 on economic resource development (of which 5 are institutional).[#]
[# Four, recommendations 32-35 are on an Economic Resources Development Unit, and there is one on the Maori Affairs Bill.]
4.3 The general impression one obtains from the report is a high emphasis on human capital formation (i.e. education, training, and health). The impression is reinforced by the subsequent publicity.
4.4 Indeed the report’s discussion on the role of resources is fragmented, and the recommendations are miscellaneous but not unwelcome. This fragmentation arises, I think, because the report does not sufficiently distinguish between resources and physical capital. It may be that “negative funding” will provide adequate physical capital. But this does not ensure the resource base will be sufficient.
4.5 While the report, with its emphasis on human capital development may be appropriate for the urban Maori, it seems to me that it underestimates the problem for the rural Maori. We can see this best in terms of the successful Pakeha development of rural areas.
4.6 By international standards the New Zealand farmer is high in human capital (and his wife tends to be even better educated). However this has been a part of the process of the rural development, not the cause. More fundamental was that the farmer was adequately resourced, with a good land tenure, and a fair equity in the land. (The equity frequently came form government subsidies including from rehabilitation settlement schemes, and cheap Rural Bank Loans.) Infrastructure was provided by the state, as was the technology from state provided R&D. The farm education and training came with that. But without the resource base none of this would have happened.
4.7 Thus for rural Maori development we have to ensure that there is an adequate resource base too. A strategy emphasising human capital development may be appropriate for urban Maori, but in the heartland of the iwi, the resource base is key.
4.8 I see four broad economic roles for the resource base:
– it may give the iwi mana (although I would avoid too great an emphasis on such psychological factors);
– it would give the iwi resources by which they can employ their people. For example land can be farmed, forests tended, cut, and processed, fish caught and processed;
– it may give a cash flow for equity investment, as when a royalty from a mineral or a tourist attraction is invested in a business enterprise ( or even in human capital formation in the iwi);
– in commercial development possession of a property right (e.g. “ownership”), as distinct from a licensing of access to the resource, gives more security, the ability to raise more debt, and at a lower cost.
4.9 Without an adequate resource base the rural Maori may have no option but to return to ( or develop) a mode of economic operation dependent less on the conventional market economy, and more on self sufficiency – and local community sufficiency – and on the use of local resources. (This is sometimes, not necessarily accurately, described as a “subsistence economy” strategy.) It would not be entirely a cashless economy, but interaction with the commercial economy would be less, partly because there would be less cash. The Maori would be more self sufficient than at present. The material standard of living would be lower than that of the urban Maori, but the life may well be richer in spiritual and other quality terms.
4.10 My judgement is that the option is not be viable in the long run, because there would be a constant drain of the community’s young and able to the urban centres. Nor, as the experiences in the latter half of the nineteenth century illustrate, is it possible for a self sufficient “subsistence” community to isolate itself from the central government. (Or, more accurately, it does not seem possible for the central government to stop interfering with such communities.) Finally the strategy is not viable as long as the central government alienates and holds the resources on which the community will depend (again as illustrated in the late nineteenth century).
4.11 However I fear that in the short run, with rising unemployment and cuts in social welfare, Maori (and non-Maori) – in the Far North (and elsewhere) – will be forced into this “subsistence” type strategy. This has important implications for the kaimoana resource, which I discuss in that section.
4.12 The alternative strategy would be to build up a commercially oriented economy, based on the local iwi, with a higher – but not dominant – subsistence component, and probably with a higher collective component and a lower individual component than for equivalent Pakeha arrangements.
4.13 It is at this point that the role of the return to the local Maori of unconstitutionally alienated assets plus cash or other compensation where that it is not possible becomes important where it provides them with the possibility of an adequate resource base. This by itself is unlikely to remove all the inequality, but it will reduce some of it.
4.14 The exact. strategy will vary district by district, and depend on the resources available. The next section presents an outsider’s account of what might be the strategy for the Muriwhenua iwi, based on secondary sources.
(4.15 The report also discusses using the “negative funding” on unemployment benefits and the like, to convert into a “positive funding” by paying wages to creat capital – a strategy used during the 1930s for both Pakeha and Maori. This interesting proposal belongs to another forum.)
5. A Maori Development Strategy in the Far North.
5.1 Development Directions For Northland (the MacLennan Report)[#] identifies the following activities as having potential in the Northland Region (which is centred on Whangarei and 70 kms to the south):
– pastoral farming (including processing);
– horticulture (including processing);
– exotic forestry (including processing);
– marine farming and fishing;
– mineral development;
The following are my interpretation on the relevance of each to the Far North region, particularly in the Aupouri Peninsula. Other studies have been consulted where possible, but the overview remains regrettably shallow. Two topics – kaimoana and tourism – are so important in the context of this hearing, I have given them separate sections.
[#] Prepared for the Northland Regional council by Warren I. MacLennan, June 1989.]
5.2 Pastoral Farming includes traditional sheep and cattle, and the new, much smaller, but rising, deer and goats. The MacLennan Report discusses this activity in terms of the region generally, without evidence of their being any special advantages in the Far North (which may be disadvantaged by the location of the processing factories). I take it that this will not be a central activity in any Muriwhenua development strategy .
5.3 While Horticultural Farming generally brings to mind subtropical fruits and grapes, it also includes tropical fruits, berry fruits, market gardening, flowers, and tree crops. The MacLennan Report mentions that there are opportunities in the Far North, although it is not very specific.
In my view horticulture may have some attractions to Maori development: it can be relatively labour intensive involving both men and women, and recalls classical Maori economic activities. As well as the shortage of land and capital, horticultural development in the Far North may be limited by a lack of research and development to identify the best crops and growing strategies.
In the past this was provided, almost for free, by government funded research agencies, such as the DSIR and MAF. With the introduction of user pays, those regions which missed out on the earlier research effort are faced with funding the work required. However, a part of any compensation package to the Maori might be the provision of government R&D for the land development. This would be “appealing”, in Dalziel’s phrase, because a consequence of the land alienation of the past was that the Maori did not get the opportunity to develop technologies for land utilisation in the way that the new owners did.
I would caution that all reports on horticultural development mention the difficulties with marketing new products (and oversupply of old ones).
5.4 Exotic Forestry is both fashionable and likely to be central to Northland’s economic development. There are already substantial forests on the Aupouri Peninsula, which I understand that the Muriwhenua Iwi have claimed, although any remedies are likely to be some years off. Whether iwi should plant more forests depends on the relative merits of land use between horticulture and forestry.
Forest growing tends to involve a high capital involvement (less so since recent changes in tax laws) and a long time to obtain a return. These may make it unattractive for Maori development purposes, unless there is a cash flow from other resource. In any case the return on wood is not in the growing but in the processing. The Maori may favour a sawlog processing regime which is more labour, skill intensive and would tends to be located near the forests of the iwi owners, although residuals from the timber mean there will still have to be a pulping based process in a more centralised location.
5.5 Marine Farming and Fishing is a modern day continuation of a major activity of the Classical Maori in the district. There is toheroa or other kaimoana everywhere, excellent oyster farming sites in east coast estuaries, and a mussel spat nursery on the west coast of the Aupouri Peninsula. There is also sea fishing, an issue already reviewed in an earlier Tribunal report.
As far as the Beach is concerned, the central Issue is the kaimoana, which the next section discusses.
5.6 Most Mineral opportunities mentioned in the MacLennan Report are not in the Far North region. The exceptions are silica sand dredged from the Parengarenga Harbour, and peat reserves in various places, including at Kaimaumau. I am not sure of the state of either development, but my suspicion is that each will at best provide the Maori with a cash flow from any royalty to which they are entitled, rather than significant employment opportunities.
5.7 Tourism is clearly a key development issue in the Far North, to the extent that the Far North District Council has commissioned a major and detailed report on the industry. Again, like kaimoana, it is a matter of such great significance to the Beach, that a separate section is devoted to tourism.
5.8 It would appear that Manufacturing will not loom large in the Far North. Almost every example cited in the MacLennan report is in Whangarei or to its south. However there may be options arising from primary process (in horticulture and saw milling) and the development of craft related industries for tourist servicing.
5.9 Implicit in the above is that there will also be a demand for a whole set of service industries ranging from professional, business, community, and local government services, to transport, retailing, and distribution services. Underpinning this will be the need for skills, including business skills.
6.1 The evidence presented to the Tribunal suggests that the depletion of the kaimoana has been such that there will be little commercial opportunity for their development for some years.
6.2 Earlier I argued that current economic trends will force more of the locality into self-sufficient non-market activity such as the harvesting of kaimoana. It will be a welcome support -a storehouse to assist the people of the locality through difficult times. This has of course been a traditional role of the kaimoana.
6.3 However I have some reservations with regard to the future of the kaimoana. The evidence before the Tribunal is that there has been serious depletion. We do not know whether this depletion will continue under present usage pressures. But even if it is stable today, the use pressures are going to increase because of the rising unemployment, and the benefit and other public expenditure cuts.
6.4 A storehouse like the kaimoana has to be managed efficiently to ensure sustainable food supplies. It has not in the last few generations. I fear it will not be not be so managed if the present regime of ambiguity in responsibility, with ultimate control in distant Wellington continues.
6.5 The Tiriti clearly intended kaimoana to be included in the “wenua, kainaga, and taonga katoa”. The third English draft, which is mentioned in the Tribunal’s empowering act mentions fisheries explicitly. There is also some rights to fisheries enacted in statute. But as I have explained these harvest rights are much more limited than that encompassed rangatiratanga.
6.6 Practically this means that harvest rights are ineffective unless with them goes the responsibilities of regulation. It seems to me that it would be entirely consistent with the Tiriti for the government to return to the iwi the reponsiblities of kaimoana regulation. I insist that this would not just be the regulatory framework as it existed in 1840. The right to development implicit in the Tiriti, also means the right to develop regulations. Thus the iwi must have some mechanism to enable it to regulate for the impact, for example, of motor vehicles on the kaimoana.
6.7 I add that in my view it would not be appropriate for the Crown just to return effective regulation to its Tiriti partners. The evidence is that the storehouse has been severely depleted. At the very least the Crown should take steps to remedy this by funding a scientific program into the reasons for the decline with the aim of arresting it, and developing a sustainable resource management program perhaps including the eventual recovery of the stock in the storehouse closer to past levels.
6.8 leave for the Tribunal to consider whether there should be some financial compensation from the Crown for the depletion which has occurred while it was officially in charge of regulating the resources.
7.1 The Far North District Council has recently published a report on tourism in its area, with some special attention to the issues of the very far north.[#]
[# Far North Sub-Regional Tourism Developmental Study, prepared by Murray North Ltd, in association with Boffa Miskell Ltd for the Far North District Council, July 1990.]
7.2 The report estimates 15 percent of the employment in the Northland Region is generated by tourism, and thinks “this is likely to understate the level of job creation” (p.75). This is a high proportion in New Zealand terms. It may well be higher for the most northern area, a sub-district of the Far North District, itself a sub-region of Northland.
7.3 Without question, the Aupouri Peninsula is a major potential centre for tourist development, although the report points out its handicap of being distant from Auckland.
7.4 Tourism has been stagnating and even declining in the Far N orth. This appears to be from a contraction in the domestic market, and there is some expected growth in the international market. The report offers three scenarios through to 1994/5. Relative to 1988/9 they show tourist employment growth of 4.9, 17.3, and 24.0 percent over the six years. Allowing for some domestic expansion thereafter, this suggests a long run tourist growth rate of between 5 and 10 percent a year (p.107). That is equal to a doubling of tourist numbers every 7 to 15 years
7.5 We may all wonder at the implications of tourist traffic doubling on the Beach over such periods, given the likelihood that the traffic has contribute to the kaimoana depletion. The Beach needs a regulatory regime which can respond to such interaction.
7.6 More generally in environmental terms, the report recognises the need for upgrading of facilities and the recovery of the original environment ( e.g. replanting with native species). The impression I have is that there has been insufficient TLC [Tender Loving Care] over the region in tourist terms, and so a magnificent tourist attraction is underutilized. I hazard the view that this has arisen because there has not been a unified regulatory regime, with responsibility lost between a number of government agencies, the local council(s), and the private sector. In my view any returning of the resource to the Maori should include a grant to enable them to return the environment back to a more natural state.
7.7 The report also places considerable emphasis on the importance of business initiative in tourist development. This will include small businesses and, given the high proportion of Maori in the Far North, a significant proportion of that initiative will have to be Maori based. Again equity funding is going to be a problem, and again any return of resources to the iwi will contribute to solving that problem.
7.8 Moreover some of the Maori contribution to tourism will add to the quality of the tourist experience, for only they can properly relate the traditional significance of various sites
7.9 Note that even if the sites are returned to Maori ownership, they would be unwise to keep all tourist development opportunities to themselves. It would be perfectly appropriate, however, for the iwi to charge a licence fee for commercial use, both as a contribution to facility development and as a royalty for the use of the natural attraction. This would add to the iwi cash flow. Other related activities, such as the provision of accommodation, is likely to besupplied by the private sector (including some Maori acting in a private capacity).
7.10 Whether non-commercial users should pay for using the resource is a difficult question to answer. Traditionally N ew Zealanders have had free access to such attractions as the Aupouri Peninsula, and they would resist any attempts to curtail such liberties. Nevertheless it may be the return of a resource, as a result of remedying some grievance from neglect of the principles of the Tiriti o Waitangi, may give the iwi the right to charge for its use. But the fact is that the Maori has been generous to visitors, even before 1840, and the iwi may chose not to charge. In recognition of this generosity the Crown may gift ( or contract) an amount equal, say, to the current Department of Conservation outlay to facilitate the free use of the resource by New Zealanders. I would emphasize that where commercial operations are involved, or where significant investments or costs are incurred by noncommercial users then a charge for use would be expected.
7.11 Tourism is a vital commercial development for the Far North. The Maori has a major role to play in this development. Returning resources to the Maori (plus appropriate compensation) may be an effective means of stimulating tourist development to the benefit of all who live in the region.
8. The Economic Implications of the Return of Te Oneroa-o-Tohe
8.1 In ecological terms Te Oneroa-o-Tohe is a beach at the interface of the sea and the land. In economic terms it is involved in a number of activities, including kai-moana, mussel spat and other commercial fishing, tourism, and recreation. (Nor should we omit the spiritual dimension of the place.)
8.2 The word “ecological” has the same Greek root as “economic”.[#] Thus it is not inappropriate to say a little about the ecological issues involved with the Beach. Poorly managed multiple use tends to result in ecological degradation. I am told this is true for this location. Examples given to me is the possibility that the Beach as road has damaged the toheroa, the evident reduction in the available fish harvest, and the possibility that the forest next to the beach has damaged foreshore (particularly the kaimoana) because of uncoordinated management. Various written sources mention the invasion of exotic plants and animals into areas which should have been maintained as exclusively native in character .
[# oikos = house.]
8.3 A typical source of poor management is multiple management (and ownership ), without any over-arching control. A parallel process can happen in regard to economic management, where there is poor definition of property rights, or inadequate exercise of those rights (from an absent owner[#] or an under re sourced one ).
[# A management regime centralised in Wellington would be an example.]
8.4 So the likelihood is that the return of the Beach to a unified and local agency, as existed before 1840, will lead to the better development in both economic and ecological terms. For instance the Department of Conservation apologises that it cannot do the upgrading which is deemed necessary, because it does not have the funds. The iwi will find the funds (although initially much of it should come from compensation) because it is in their interests to do so, although it is important that they be not under capitalised. (This is not a specific criticism of the iwi. In the last three years a number of large (Pakeha) corporations with big assets bases, but inadequate capitalization have gone under.)
8.5 In national terms improved economic management will result in better overall economic performance.
8.6 This applies also for ecological management which aims to be sustainable (hopefully with some recovery back to past levels of sustainability .) Unified and local management is likely to give better environmental protection. A single authority based in the region should be much better at sorting this out than a number of agencies reporting to Wellington
8.7 In fiscal terms there will be some loss at least initially, arising from the transfer of resources from the Crown and any compensating cash and similar payments. In the long run this will be offset by the improved economic performance, and by the reduction of dependency of the Muriwhenua people on the social security system. If this were to happen the resource return would be a case of the “positive funding” which Ka Awatea advocates (in contrast to the negative funding on social security and sickness).
8.8 Locally the development opportunities and better economiC performance should lift the whole of the region of the Far North. However some people I have spoken to expressed a concern that the Pakeha and non-Muriwhenua Maori may be worse off. I have reminded them of the Tribunal policy that its task is not to remedy old grievances by creating new ones.
The transfer is primarily between central government and the Muriwhenua people, so the locals will benefit from the spinoff of additional economic activity generated by this transfer (but not as much as they would if the transfer was, say, to the Far North District Councilalthough that is unlikely to happen). There may be some people who have received licences to use the resources to be transferred ( often without charge for – as we have mentioned – the central government has not always been economic in its use of the resources in its possession). The untangling of this will depend upon specific circumstances, but I do not see that there need be an outcome where the private licensees or the iwi should suffer .
8.9 Behind all this must be the primary task of the Tribunal to remedy past gnevances. The nation benefitted from the unconstitutional alienation of resources in the past. Justice requires that it remedy such grievances as soon as possible. If the nation did not always use the resources as effectively as it could, then the cost of the return will be that much less to it
8.10 Without judging whether the return of a particular resource (or compensation as an alternative) is justified, I have tried to show here is how returning some or all of the resources in this claim is likely to be beneficial in economic and development terms to the Muriwhenua people, and ultimately to all the people in the region. As I explained in my introduction, I have not had the opportunity to acquire the local knowledge to be able to detail the processes which are likely to be involved, or to quantify outcomes. Indeed I may have made some errors of fact, which I regret. However I believe the economic framework to be broadly correct, and I hope that it is helpful to the deliberations of the Tribunal.