Te mōrehu whenua, te mōrehu tāngata : Māori land incorporations and tribal imperatives : Morikaunui Incorporation, Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Māori Studies at Massey University

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Massey University
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Land retention to advance matters of importance to the tribe is the focus for this research. In particular, this thesis will investigate the effectiveness of Maori land incorporations as mechanisms to achieve tribal development aspirations. In order to answer this question the history of the lands in the Morikaunui and Atihau-Whanganui Maori Incorporations are used as case studies. Primarily, the reflection of tribal imperatives as the goal for land retention and utilisation is examined in two stages. The first stage investigates the pioneering years of the 20 th century during the time that the lands were held under the paternalistic control of the Aotea Maori Land Board (AMLB). The second stage analyses the ability of the Incorporations to reflect tribal imperatives since their establishment. During the first stage it will be demonstrated that the primary focus for Whanganui tribal groups was the protection of their estate. The use of legislative measures to achieve this succeeded to some extent but removed the ability of the Whanganui tribe to exercise any control over the management and administration of leasehold land and the Morikau Farm. Campaigns to return the lands to their management were successful upon the establishment of the Morikaunui Incorporation in 1955 and the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation in 1969. The second stage begins by highlighting how the resources of the Morikaunui Incorporation were utilised by the Whanganui leadership to contribute to tribal development initiatives and the protection of tribal land interests. It is proposed that the Incorporations were set-up to reflect the tribal conscience of Whanganui iwi, hapū and whānau groups by supporting tribal imperatives. Furthermore, arguments are introduced to demonstrate that in contemporary times this has been less evident in the practices of the Incorporations. In reality, commercial and individual goals have prevailed. While the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation has inherited an expensive legacy of paying compensation upon the resumption of leasehold lands, the thesis contends that tribal imperatives should form the basis for the future direction of the Morikaunui and Atihau-Whanganui Incorporations.
Morikaunui Incorporation, Whanganui River Region, Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation, Maori, Land tenure, New Zealand, Mana whenua