Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust (the Trust) is pleased with the statement today from the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon Andrew Little, that he will engage with the Trust around important issues that emerged from the Whakatōhea voting process.

Trust Chairman, Graeme Riesterer, says the Trust agrees with the Minister that a continued broad base of support is needed to ensure an enduring settlement, and believes that this can be achieved.

“Although there are clearly issues to work through before we resume negotiations, there is still majority support for the Trust and a desire to see our settlement progress,” Mr Riesterer says.

“The Trust recognises the view expressed by the vote that it is extremely important to have our stories and history told through a historical inquiry. As such, we asked the Minister to consider how this can be done while our settlement negotiations continue.”

Minister Little says he will look at options for how to address the request for a Tribunal inquiry, and that one way of doing this could be running a historical inquiry process in parallel, or after, negotiations.

Mr Riesterer says the Trust is committed to working with the Crown on potential ways forward, in consultation with Whakatōhea hapū and whānau.  

“The Trust’s goal remains to see the aspirations of our tīpuna come to life,” says Mr Riesterer.

 “Our hope is still that we can transform our Agreement in Principle into a Deed of Settlement for all our iwi to vote on, and to bring positive change for all our generations to come.”

“We urge all Whakatōhea to work with us and the Crown to find a way to achieve a settlement for our iwi, so we can realise our shared goal of a better future for our people.”