NZ Defence Force and local Iwi commit to a new relationship

defence force

Last Saturday the New Zealand Defence Force vested back to local Māori of Ngāti Rangi land that had been used as a Communication Centre.

Next Saturday the Iwi will gift that land back to the Crown and Defence Force.

It will continue to be used by the Defence Force for the good of all New Zealanders.

This apparently strange exchange of land has a deeper significance.

It marks a unique new relationship of the New Zealand  Defence Force and a local Māori group.

Members of the three branches of the Defence Force gathered at Raketapauma Marae and were welcomed on.

Then a Mass was celebrated to deepen the spiritual significance of the day.

All persons, from Defence and the local Iwi, then went to the land in question and a ceremony acknowledging the significance of the day took place.

A plaque on a rock base was unveiled.

The wording reads “This plaque marks the relationship between Ngāti Rangi and the New Zealand Defence Force.

It records the vest and gift-back of these lands within Rukutia te Mana, the Ngāti Rangi (Treaty) settlement.”

Kemp Dryden, Chair of the local Marae, spoke, outlining the background to the day.

He thanked those who have been negotiating since 2015.

He noted that this relationship will expand into commercial opportunities as well.

This will include working together to use the land for housing and employment.

This first in Treaty agreements will mark a new era for Ngāti Rangi and the New Zealand Defence Force.

It is the first time such a ‘gifting’ or ‘vesting’ has taken place involving the Defence Force.

The historical background for this event is that the Crown had gradually subsumed land belonging to Ngāti Rangi.

This included a block of land the New Zealand Forces took over as a Communication Base under the banner of the New Zealand Navy.

It was involved for example in communications around the Japanese advances in the Second World War.

Read the whole story and see more pictures



Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , ,