Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa Inquiry - Claims Update

The kaupapa inquiry programme

In the memorandum of 1 April 2015 outlining the Waitangi Tribunal’s kaupapa inquiry programme, it was stated that the programme would comprise 11 broadly based thematic inquiries. The order in which the inquiries were expected to commence was also listed, but it was indicated that this might be varied to accommodate changing priorities and specific issues that required early attention.

The first kaupapa inquiry, into the claims of Māori military veterans and their whānau, is well under way. The second, into claims concerning health services and outcomes, commenced late last year. I have also recently granted priority for a targeted kaupapa inquiry into claims concerning the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act, which were otherwise due to be heard later in the kaupapa inquiry into natural resources and environment management.

The kaupapa inquiry order has thus changed from that originally set down. Turning to the next inquiries to commence, the Tribunal are currently considering an inquiry into claims concerning mana wāhine and an inquiry into claims concerning housing policy and services. Before initiating these inquiries, the Tribunal intends to consult claimants whose grievances are likely to fall within the ambit of the two proposed kaupapa inquiries.

An inquiry into claims concerning housing policy and services

Housing issues were set down in the kaupapa inquiry programme as part of a later and broader inquiry into social services, social development and housing. A substantial proportion of claimants with housing-related grievances, however, also raise grievances concerning health and are either participating in the Health Services and Outcomes inquiry or may be eligible to do so. A significant claim issue in that inquiry is likely to be the association between housing conditions and Māori health status and the extent of Crown responsibility for addressing housing conditions as a cause of ill health.

Commencing a separate kaupapa inquiry into claims concerning housing policy and services alongside the Health Services and Outcomes inquiry may assist the two inquiries to adjust potential overlaps in their scope of issues and the parties to address all aspects of alleged housing-related grievances and prejudice in parallel inquiry processes.

At this point, many of the claims which raise grievances in relation to housing issues have been brought on behalf of particular whānau, hapū and iwi from across the nation. Most include housing amongst a broader range of socio-economic grievances that are expressed in general terms and similar ways.

Many of those claims allege Crown failure to assure an adequate standard of housing for Māori, both rural and urban, or to deliver state services, programmes and support enabling Māori access to adequate housing. Some claimants allege disparities in state housing provision between Māori and non-Māori. Some also attribute poor housing conditions as a cause of ill health, amongst other prejudicial effects. Many of the housing grievances raised by claimants have both historical and contemporary aspects.

Several claims raise grievances concerning Crown housing policy and practice that have or may have a national character. They include the New Zealand Māori Council’s claim (Wai 777) concerning the sale of state houses and the return of associated land taken under public works legislation.

Local housing grievances have been raised by claimants in a number of district inquiries. Research and other evidence presented in those inquiries is likely to provide substantial contextual information for this kaupapa inquiry’s focus on housing issues at the national level.

Eligibility to participate in the inquiries

Claims that have or relate to a kaupapa issue

Claimants intending to participate in the proposed inquiry, if initiated, should bear in mind that kaupapa inquiries are intended to consider one or more issues of national scale and significance, whether the issue itself is broadly or narrowly defined. Any claimant who considers that their housing or mana wāhine grievances are or relate to kaupapa issues that fall within the thematic scope of the respective inquiry may seek to have their claims heard in that inquiry.

Some housing claims have been submitted on behalf of Māori as a whole or of those Māori generally affected by the issue they raise. Such claims would usually be eligible to participate. Other claims have been submitted on behalf of whānau, hapū, iwi or particular groups. These claims, if they have a particular or local focus, may serve as case examples of the kaupapa issues to which they relate and the Tribunal would hear those that wish to participate on this basis.

Eligibility to participate

The principal factors affecting eligibility for inclusion are set out in paragraphs 32 and 33 of the memorandum of 1 April 2015. In particular, claimants would be ineligible to the extent that their claims have already been heard or settled.

Any claimant who wishes to be heard and whose eligibility to participate in either of the two proposed inquiries is in any doubt would be afforded the opportunity to state their case for inclusion when the inquiry commenced.

Starting the inquiries

As indicated in the memorandum of 1 April 2015, the Tribunal's kaupapa inquiry programme is designed to provide a pathway for the hearing of claims relating in part or in whole to nationally significant issues that affect a section of Māori or Māori as a whole in similar ways. These thresholds – national significance, Māori widely affected, similarity of experience of the Crown policy or action complained of – must normally be met for a kaupapa inquiry to be constituted.

It is also important that the Crown and eligible claimants who wish for their claims to be heard in a kaupapa inquiry be ready to proceed with its preparation. Should the Tribunal consider that the state of readiness is insufficient, it may defer the start of the inquiry to a later date or demote it in the order of inquiries.

Before commencing the two proposed kaupapa inquiries the Tribunal needs to be satisfied that these preconditions – that the claims to be heard, taken together, reach the threshold criteria and the claimants are sufficiently ready and wish to proceed with them – are likely to be met.

The Tribunal will therefore take the preliminary step of consulting claimants with claims relating to the inquiry, as well as the Crown, at a judicial conference to be held in Wellington on Tuesday 13 March 2018. The second conference, for claimants with claims relating to housing policy and service issues, will commence at 1.30 pm and finish by 5 pm.

Claims and filing dates

Tribunal staff have identified approximately 36 statements of claim that raise housing policy and service issues, and that may be eligible to participate in the respective inquiries. The claims are listed in Appendix C.

These lists are preliminary. In particular:
a) Some of the listed claims may have had their housing grievances heard already in previous Tribunal inquiries or may be participating in current inquiries in which those grievances are in scope;
b) Some are currently negotiating their historical grievances with the Crown and
may not wish to participate in a Tribunal kaupapa inquiry; and
c) For some claimants, the take of the original claim may now have passed.

Claimants with housing grievances whose claims have been omitted from the preliminary lists and who wish to have them heard in one or both of the respective proposed inquiries should notify the Registrar (WT.Registrar@justice.govt.nz) of their intention to participate and in which conference by noon on Friday 16 February 2018.

Although not a requirement, claimants who wish to amend their statements of claim in respect of housing grievances in advance of the judicial conferences are encouraged to submit them by noon on Friday 26 January 2018.

Claimants who intend to participate in the two proposed inquiry are invited to make written submissions on the matters set out in paragraph 27 above. These should be filed by noon on Friday 16 February 2018. The Crown is invited to file its submission by noon on Friday 23 February 2018.

Preliminary list of claims that relate to housing issues

Note: This appendix is not definitive. It comprises a preliminary listing of claims which appear to raise housing grievances, whether historical or contemporary, that have not been
fully inquired into, settled or otherwise resolved.

272 Te Runanga o Ngāti Porou Claim
351 Te Puni Kōkiri Mortgage Portfolio Claim
538 Ngāti Whaita Land Claim
630 Ngāti Rereahu Rohe Claim
777 Sale of State Houses and Land Claim
1126 Ngāti Tamaoho Lands and Resources Claim
1511 Ngāi Tamatea Hapū ki Waiotahe Lands Claim
1729 Ngāti Kauwhata ki te Tonga Settlement Process Claim
1758 Upokorehe Hapu Ngāti Raumoa Roimata Marae Trust Claim
1770 King Country Health Issues (Paki) Claim
1775 Ngāti Patumoana (Hata) Claim
1781 Ngāi Tama Haua (Biddle) Claim
1787 Rongopopoia Hapu Claim
1794 Turangapikitoi Hapu Claim
1795 Ngāti Ruatakena (Williams) Claim
1797 Te Whanau-a-Ehutu Claim
1814 Te Aitanga-a-Apanui Claim
1816 Northland Māori Historical Health Issues (O'Sullivan) Claim
1817 Northland Māori Contemporary Health Issues (O'Sullivan) Claim
1819 King Country Maori Contemporary Health Issues (Paki) Claim
1821 Kirikiriroa Marae Claim
1830 Te Whanau-a-Maruhaeremuri Claim
1851 Ngāti Miro, Ngāti Kura and Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa (John Terewi) Claim
1884 Ngāti Ngāhere (Carrington) Claim
1964 Te Whanau-a-Apanui (Tohiariki) Claim
2034 Te Uri o Mate (Maipi) Lands Claim
2043 Te Whanau-a-Apanui Crown Treaty Settlement Process Claim
2046 Ngāti Mihiroa, Ngāti Ngarengare and Muaupoko (Kenrick) Lands Claim
2053 Muaupoko Health (Kupa and Ferris) Claim
2106 Heeni Rawiri Whanau and Others Lands (McDonald) Claim
2173 Muaūpoko Health (Murray) Claim
2425 The North Auckland Land Acquisition, Housing, Health and Education Claim
2454 The Tauhara 14 Middle Trust Housing Scheme Claim
2459 Rika Whānau Lands Claim
2547 The Special Housing Areas Act (Ihumātao) Claim
2572 The Omarukaikuru / Shelly Bay Claim

Attachments

Memorandum - Directions of the Chairperson calling judicial conferences on starting kaupapa inquiries into claims concerning Mana Wāhine and Housing Policy and Services, 16 Nov 17

Appendix A – Memorandum of the Chairperson concerning the Kaupapa Inquiry Programme, dated 1 Apr 15

This memorandum will also be published on the Tribunal website www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz. If you have any questions please contact the Registrar at WT.Registrar@justice.govt.nz or (04) 914 3000.

If you or your organisation would like our support to prepare for the judicial conference, please contact Jade Kake at jade@tematapihi.org.nz.

Nazarene MihaereComment