Pre-mandate: Mandate Strategy
In the beginning, each claimant group was required to choose representatives to act on their behalf in negotiations with the Crown. For the purposes of our settlement, the Whakatōhea claimant group encompassed the whakapapa of the descendants of Muriwai and Tūtāmure and those members (uri) who affiliate to one or more of the hapū and marae o Whakatōhea.
In 2010, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Ngāhere, Ngāti Rua and Ngāti Patumoana regrouped to consider the next steps. This grouping of hapū became known as the Tu Ake Whakatōhea Collective (the Collective). The Collective sought assistance from the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board (Trust Board) to engage with iwi members of Whakatōheato identify the most appropriate process by which Whakatōhea could provide a mandate to a representative entity to negotiate the settlement of the historical claims. The Trust Board agreed to provide reasonable assistance in accordance with the terms of its governing legislation.
Over the course of six years the Collective undertook preparation and drafting of a mandate strategy document, which outlined:
- our history as an iwi, the names of our marae and hapū
- our common ancestry and traditional boundaries
- a description of how people would be nominated and elected to represent the claimant group through the establishment of a pre-settlement claims trust, and
- how approval would be sort from the claimant group to represent them in negotiations. This involved holding a series of hui where information could be shared on the process so far and questions could be asked around the processes for achieving a mandate strategy.
A draft mandate strategy was presented to the iwi on 11 November 2014 for feedback and submissions. A total of 146 submissions were received, with 122 in support, five in partial support and 19 opposing. Changes were made to reflect submitters’ comments where agreed.
The mandate strategy was presented again for submission between 22 December 2014 and 13 February 2015, followed by another round of feedback in November 2015.
To enhance the process, a further meeting was undertaken with the Crown, the Collective and the claimants in opposition. A Crown mediator facilitated this meeting to hear concerns and make additional changes to the mandate strategy where agreement could be reached.
After considering the issues raised in submissions on the draft mandate strategy, the Collective decided to finalise the strategy and submit it to the Crown.
The Crown endorsed the final mandate strategy on 13 April 2016.