Part 1 of the Titford story set the scene for one of New Zealand’s worst cases of human rights violation. Allan Titford lost his land, two houses were burnt to the ground, animals slaughtered and a barrage of abuse engulfed Allan Titford and his family, which left Alan Titford destitute. In this edition you will see first hand the behind the scenes corruption that ultimately led to Titford being forced off his freehold land.
‘Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely’
Even the Waitangi Tribunal Chief Judge, Eddie Durie, admitted to this corruption in a November 17, 1999 New Zealand Herald article which stated:
RESEARCHERS "PRESSURED TO CHANGE FINDINGS"
Some Treaty of Waitangi claimants have asked researchers to change findings that would be unhelpful to their cases, says the Chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal, Chief Judge Eddie Durie. Justice Durie also said that some tribes had even tried to make the payments of researchers conditional on findings being altered in their favour. He said the issue - and several others - had raised questions about the need for a code of ethics for researching claims lodged under the Treaty.
The comments were in a paper, Ethics and Values, released on the Indigenous Peoples and the Law website.
Justice Durie said some groups had required commissioned researchers to remove material unhelpful to the claimants' cases, or amend their conclusions. Sometimes this was a condition of the researchers being paid. Some also presented biased claims, omitting evidence against their evidence that should be presented. "There are also complaints from researchers, of instructions not to consult with certain persons or only those approved by the groups," said Justice Durie.
"Mr Buddy Mikaere, who is a former Waitangi Tribunal director ... is alleged to have found legal briefs which Justice Durie had prepared for Ms Donna Hall [Durie’s wife] who was representing a tribunal claimant group."
In other words, the judge prepares cases for his wife to present for his consideration in his own court. By about 2002, Donna Hall had already earned around $20 million in cases her law firm presented in the Tribunal, where her husband was the sitting Chief Justice.
Several other historians have come out of the woodwork to substantiate this illicit activity of tampering with history to win cases.
Another excellent insight into the machinations of the Waitangi Tribunal is journalist Denis Hampton's April 3, 1998 article leading up to the Ngai Tahu settlement.
In any fair and impartial court of law, the land-claim case against Allan Titford and his neighbour, Don Harrison, would have produced exactly the same result as it always had, through multiple test-cases, since the late 19th century. However, as white farmers, neither of them had any hope of gaining fair rulings within the closed, race-based Tribunal, from which proceedings they were barred and excluded as only 'interested third parties'.
The heavily biased case against them was decided, using tampered-with and falsified history, deceitful lies claiming that centrally-important documents were now 'missing' (including the deed of sale), convenient opinions on what documents would have said if they existed, entire deleted passages or modified words that changed whole meanings within paragraphs, the disallowing of any cross-examination of kaumatuas' opinions or recollections, all of which was upheld by historians of dubious integrity, churning out made-to-order history in order to get paid.
Some examples of the deliberate falsification of words to change entire meanings in the Titford case, as found in historian David Alexander Armstrong's report:
|... when the title is definitely settled
||... when the survey is completely settled
|Tiopira joined with the hapus…
||Tiopira pined with the hapus…
|… lived at Waimamaku and Waipoua
||… lived at Maunganui and Waipoua [following 3 lines of text deleted]
Similarly, historian David Colquhoun testified in his report for the Waitangi Tribunal that a substantial number of records central to the enquiry were now missing - and named them. This appraisal was very misleading, as most records on his list were either fully complete and available, as well as in situ at the Land Court and Lands Department, or at least 90% complete and more than sufficient in content to prove the integrity of earlier court rulings.
One transcribed document proffered by Colquhoun came via Maori claimant sources and was heavily tampered with in content when compared to the original.
The twisted logic of these 'historians' was very telling. In all previous cases since 1899 the courts were in full possession of all the pertinent historical documents, which were cited before an informed decision was handed down. However, with the documents now 'conveniently' (temporarily) missing, and with a dearth of evidence to present, previous verdicts must have been wrong, so the claimants must be right.
Was this disgusting scholarship ... or something more sinister?
So, what is the true history of Te Roroa iwi?
Exactly what did the Te Roroa iwi own at and around Maunganui Bluff or the Waipoua Forest of Northland in the 1870s?
Graham Rankin, paramount chief of Ngapuhi, referred to Te Roroa iwi in the following way:
“Te Roroa people are only squatters, living on the edge of Waipoua Forest. They don't even know what they are!!'”
Within greater Maoridom, they were also widely known by the derogatory title of 'Ngapuhi's dogs'.
The tragic reason for these labels being assigned to them was because they were an almost utterly dispossessed people, considered to have little or no mana and owning almost no land at the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on February 6, 1840.
Te Roroa iwi had once been in possession of lands at the Hokianga, in the region of Waimamaku and Wairau.
The facts disclosed to elocal are that those of Te Roroa subsisting outside meagre Wairau holdings were living for generations in sufferance, with grudging permission, on lands owned by western Ngapuhi. These conditions, however, changed markedly for the worse when treachery by Te Roroa squatters at the Waipoua Forest led to the murder of eastern Ngapuhi chief Pokaia's son in 1803. This act began the 'Musket Wars' in which upwards of 20,000 Maori were killed, maimed or enslaved in inter-tribal fighting before 1840.
In the Musket Wars, Te Roroa iwi were soundly defeated and chased southwards from the district to live with their Ngati Whatua and Te Uri-o-Hau allies in the Kaipara district or beyond.
Te Roroa had been soundly defeated and dispossessed in battles or skirmishes that raged since Rori's invasion of Waimamaku of about 1795 and had continuously lost ground for over a quarter of a century, to a point wherein they had no ancestral lands of possession south of Wairau that they could call their own or even defend.
By about 1856, Tiopira Kinaki, who was a virtual unknown in the district, had moved to Chief Parore Te Awha's Waipoua Forest settlement, the 'favourite residence' of Parore.
About 18 years later, at the beginning of October 1874, word came to Chief Parore Te Awha that Tiopira Kinaki of Te Roroa, along with traditional allies, Ngati-whatua and Te Uri-o-Hau, had deceitfully taken large deposits from Crown purchasing agents for the sale of Parore Te Awha's lands, extending from the Waipoua Forest to south of Maunganui Bluff.
Also Wi Pou of Ngaitu, who held a legitimate claim to lands to the eastern side of the Waipoua Forest and Tutamoe, had become allied with Tiopira Kinaki. He engaged the surveyors Barnard and Stephens to do a 'private survey' (preliminary sketch plan only ... for repurchase of two reserves from the Crown) in an area just south of the bluff on Parore's land.
Once Hongi Hika had defeated Ngati Whatua and reduced their numbers down to a little over 200 survivors in the battle of Ikaaranganui in 1825, the front line defending Ngapuhi chiefs of the time, Te Kaha and Te Kairua, had moved back to Kaikohe from their Pa on the southern side of Maunganui Bluff. Te Awha and his son Parore Te Awha reassumed full control of the whole region thereafter. Almost fifty years later, in about 1874, Wi Pou's hapu (Ngaitu), composed of around forty individuals, hoped to create for themselves two reserves there on the south side of Maunganui Bluff, between the sea and a small lake. They would call the reserves Manuwhetai and Whangai-ariki respectively.
Te Roroa owned NOTHING!
Te Roroa’s claim should never have made it into the court room. Twice before they had tried it on, once in 1899 and again in 1939. Each time they were thrown out of court.
So what made the difference? Fabricated reports and documents. History changed for the simple motive of greed.
A tribunal created to favour only Maori was the instrument of choice that enabled the corruption that took place. For Allan Titford and his family it’s a shameful testament of wild west antics that has been demonstrated as one of the worst cases of human rights violations to take place in a country renowned for its peace, tranquillity, justice and racial harmony.
But it was far from tranquil for Allan Titford. After being told that 90 acres of his 1,742 acres freehold property had a claim on it but would not be taken for the claim, that’s exactly what happened to Titford - but not just the claimed 90 acres, the whole farm and over 1450 cattle! But it appears the tribunal did not stop there; elocal was told that they also took the land of his neighbour Don Harrison and others in the area, eventually ending up with a 20km stretch of beach front.
An insidious plan of both greed and corruption. Who was driving the machine? For what purpose and for whom? Who clipped the ticket?
After countless pleas to the authorities Allan Titford was driven off his land, his houses burnt to the ground and suffered so many instances of abuse it’s hard to count them all. In October 1986 a young Bohemian farmer from Puhoi, Allan Titford, entered into a contract to buy two adjoining, gently contoured farms at Maunganui Bluff, on Northland's west coast, both with freehold titles issued by the Crown. Never in his wildest dreams did Allan Titford expect to face years of death threats, assaults, police brutality and charges, and eventually being driven from his land for fear of him and his young family being murdered.
Allan Titford spent years sifting through legal documents and gaining a dossier of authentic documents that proved the validity of his fee simple freehold land title and that the Waitangi Tribunal ruling was outright fraud. But those that wanted to drive him off his land were up to no good with abuse, beatings and burnings in an attempt to get rid of the original documents...