Our Settlement


The Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust has negotiated an Agreement in Principle with the Crown.
The proposed settlement for Te Whakatōhea will provide the tools and a platform for our iwi to realise our aspirations for a prosperous future for our mokopuna. No settlement will ever compensate Te Whakatōhea for the wrongs done to our iwi, but this is a start.

There remains a long way to go, a lot more kōrero and time for us to come together and share this journey as Te Whakatōhea. Part of this will include voting on the mandate of the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust to be able to negotiate on behalf of all Whakatōhea hapū. In the end, it is up to all of Whakatōhea to decide if this settlement is right for us.

The Trustees of the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust understand that not everybody agrees with this settlement and that’s their right. Our door remains open as we continue to work hard on behalf of all of our whānau. We are all Whakatōhea.


The pre-mandate stage

For the purposes of our settlement, the Whakatōhea claimant group encompasses 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 in settling our historic claims against the Crown. This grouping of hapū became known as the Tu Ake Whakatōhea Collective.

The Collective sought assistance from the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board (Trust Board) to engage with iwi members of Whakatōhea. They sought to find the most appropriate way to provide a mandate to a representative entity to negotiate the settlement of the historical claims on behalf of Whakatōhea.

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.

In November 2014, a draft mandate strategy was presented to the iwi 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.

A further meeting was undertaken with the Crown, the Collective and the claimants in opposition. 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.

Deed of mandate

On 16 December 2016, the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and the Minister for Māori Development recognised the mandate the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust had to negotiate a settlement on behalf of our iwi and hapū. This was a huge milestone for the Trust and for Whakatōhea.

To reach this milestone, in April 2016, a nomination, election and appointment process was undertaken for six hapū trustees to be elected, eight marae representatives, and one representative from the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board to be appointed. This made a total Trustee membership of 15.

On 3 June the election process was completed and a resolution for the establishment of the Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Claims Trust was supported by 91.6% of Whakatōhea members.

On 16 July 2016, the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust was formed.

Terms of negotiation

The Trust signed our Terms of Negotiation on 17 December, 2016. This document sets out the ground rules for our negotiations with the Crown.

It describes what the claimant group and the Crown want to achieve as they enter into direct negotiations. These terms of negotiation are non-binding.

You can read the Terms of Negotiation document here.

Crown Offer

On 5 August 2017 at Waiaua Marae, the Crown presented a comprehensive Settlement offer to Whakatōhea. This would become the bones of the Agreement in Principle we would sign with the Crown later that month.

You can view the Whakatōhea Crown Offer here.

Agreement in Principle

The Trust and the Crown signed our Agreement in Principle (AIP) for Whakatōhea in August 2017 in Wellington. It was an historic day for our iwi.

This document shows the redress that will be agreed to in the final settlement. It is not a legally binding document and does not describe what the Whakatōhea claimant group will get in detail. Before signing this document the Trust consulted our people on the draft AIP.

Now our AIP has been signed, the document is public, and anyone can read it to see the kind of settlement we, and the Crown, are proposing.

You can view the Whakatōhea Agreement in Principle (19MB) here.

Deed of Settlement

The next steps after Whakatōhea hapū vote on the Trust’s mandate will be to work out the details of Whakatōhea’s settlement with the Crown. This is the longest part of the settlement process.

The discussions between our negotiator and the Crown are confidential and can take 12 to 18 months, or longer.

When the Trust is happy with the settlement on offer, both the Trust and the Crown will initial the Draft Deed of Settlement.


Once the draft Deed of Settlement has been initialled, you’ll vote on whether or not to approve the settlement. This process is called ratification. Members of the Trust will have time to consider the settlement package on offer, ask questions, and ultimately vote on the Deed of Settlement.

  1. Every adult member of the Trust (18 years +) has the right to vote
  2. You’ll have between two-six weeks to cast your vote.

The process will likely include:

  1. A series of ratification hui to meet and discuss the terms of the settlement.
  2. You’ll have an opportunity to review the initialled Deed of Settlement.
  3. The Trust will give you a summary of the package that the Crown is offering, and will explain how they worked it out.
  4. There will be time for questions and discussion.
  5. Te Puni Kōkiri will attend the hui to make sure that the process is open and fair, and that everyone who wants to speak is able to.
  6. Voting papers and an information booklet will also be mailed to all registered members. You will be able to vote online or by post if you cannot attend a hui.

If the Settlement passes the vote, the settlement will continue to progress to becoming law. If it does not pass, negotiators may, or may not, be able to continue negotiating with the Crown.

Post-Settlement Governance Entity

When our settlement is complete, a group known as the Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE) will manage the settlement assets. The PSGE needs to be set up before the settlement becomes final and is made law.

A PSGE represents the claimant group and decides how to manage the redress package. It will not necessarily be the same people who represent you during the settlement process.



      Our claimant group chooses who will represent them in negotiations.

      Our Iwi representatives and the Crown negotiate the settlement.Key milestones include:
      ⋅ Signing an Agreement in Principle (AIP) – the framework for the settlement (COMPLETED AUGUST 2017)
      ⋅ Initialling a Deed of Settlement (iDOS)
      ⋅ Ratification process – voting on the proposed Deed of Settlement and Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE)
    • The claimant group must agree to the proposed settlement before moving to the next stage. The Crown decides if the ratification voting shows ‘sufficient support’ for the settlement to go ahead. IT’S YOUR DECISION.

    • If ‘sufficient support’ is received, the settlement goes through the law-making process, including:
      ⋅ The Settlement is introduced to Parliament as a Bill
      ⋅ The Bill goes to the Māori Affairs Select Committee and is open for public submissions
      ⋅ The Bill goes through the Second and Third Readings in Parliament, and receives the Royal Assent, becoming law (the Settlement Act)
      ⋅ The claimant group receives a letter confirming that the Settlement has been made law and is complete

    The Crown and the claimant group work together to make sure everything agreed in the Deed of Settlement happens, including:

    ⋅ Final steps in the set up of the PSGE and Trust Deed, and the election of Trustees
    ⋅ The redress package is transferred to the PSGE within an agreed amount of time, usually 40 working days after the settlement becomes law
    ⋅ All other arrangements detailed in the agreement are implemented


1. What is a historical Treaty settlement?

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed by Māori Rangatira, or Chiefs, and representatives of the British Crown in 1840.

The Treaty:

  • gave sovereignty in New Zealand to the British Crown
  • enabled Māori to keep rangatiratanga, or chieftainship, over their resources, while giving the Crown first rights to any land being sold after that time, and
  • guaranteed Māori the rights and privileges of British citizens.

Historical claims are made by Māori against the Crown for breaches of the Treaty — there have been times when the Crown has not upheld 1 or more of these articles — before 1992.

Historical settlements aim to resolve these claims and provide some redress to claimant groups. When a settlement is reached, it becomes law.

2. What’s involved in settlement?

The Crown settles with ‘Large Natural Groups’ — communities with common ancestry – known as claimant groups. These can be made up of:

  • a single iwi
  • a group of iwi
  • a collection of hapū from the same geographical area.

The Crown is the government, and government agencies. The Office of Treaty Settlements negotiates with representatives of claimant groups on behalf of the Crown.

3. What will a settlement provide?

A settlement includes three kinds of redress for the claimant group:

  • 1. An historical account of the Treaty breaches, and a Crown acknowledgement and apology
    The historical account details the ways that the Crown breached the Treaty. Both the Crown and the claimant group must agree on this. The Crown acknowledges and apologises for the Treaty breaches and the impact they had on the claimant group.
  • 2. Cultural redress
    Cultural redress can include things such as:

    • changing place names
    • the transfer of Crown land to the claimant group, and
    • co-governance of rivers and lakes.
  • 3. Commercial and financial redress
    This is cash, property, or a mixture of both.