TRIBUNAL UPDATES

Keep updated with the latest Whakatōhea news from the Waitangi Tribunal

In November 2017 the Waitangi Tribunal held an urgent hearing at Whakatāne to assess whether the Crown’s decision to recognise the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust Deed of Mandate was fair, reasonable and made in good faith.

After considering submissions from a number of hapū representatives, the Tribunal released the Whakatōhea Mandate Inquiry Report in April 2018.

This reported outlined the Tribunal’s findings that the Crown should not have recognised the Pre-Settlement Trust Deed of Mandate in December 2016 and that the Crown had prioritised its political objective of concluding settlements by mid-2020 over a process that was fair to Whakatōhea.

It also recommended a temporary halt to negotiations so that Whakatōhea hapū be given a chance to vote on how our iwi should proceed, and as a result we will shortly be having a vote to re-test the mandate of the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust.

The Trust welcomed the chance to test the pulse of our people through this vote.

Our job as Trustees is to work on behalf of all Whakatōhea – those of us here now as well as those of us yet to come – and to acknowledge and protect the mana of those who have gone before us. We are proud of the progress we’ve made towards establishing an enduring settlement for all Whakatōhea and understand that for whānau this has been a journey filled with mamae.

The result of the Whakatōhea vote on the future of its Treaty of Waitangi claims was announced on 13 November, with majority support for the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust (the Trust) and its continued work to achieve a comprehensive settlement for all of Whakatōhea. A total of 2,726 valid votes were cast on Question 1 with 56.27% (1,534 votes) opting to support the Trust and its work.

The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Minister for Māori Development will now consider the results before deciding whether or not the Crown will resume negotiations with the Trust or explore other options involving Whakatōhea.

We look forward to continuing to work on behalf of all Whakatōhea as we move forward with our settlement.

Couldn’t make it to the information hui? View and listen to our presentation here.

FAQs on the vote, our AIP, and our current settlement offer

Was the Waitangi Tribunal report about Whakatōhea’s claim or our mandate?

The Tribunal considered whether the Crown’s decision to recognise the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust mandate was fair, reasonable, and made in good faith.

What were the key findings of the Waitangi Tribunal’s report?

The Waitangi Tribunal found that the Crown should not have recognised the Pre-Settlement Trust Deed of Mandate in December 2016 and that the Crown had prioritised its political objective of concluding settlements by mid-2020 over a process that was fair to Whakatōhea. It recommended a temporary halt to negotiations so that all of Whakatōhea be given a chance to vote on how to proceed. Despite this, the Tribunal recognised the package in the Agreement in Principle (AIP) was significant and worth preserving.

  • That a suitably qualified independent returning officer be appointed to access the Trust Board Register and registers or rolls held by claimant groups to enable all adult members of Whakatōhea to vote on these questions:
  1. Do you support the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust continuing to negotiate to reach a settlement with the Crown of the historical Treaty grievances of Whakatōhea? YES/NO

 

  • IF THE ANSWER TO (1) IS NO
    1. Do you wish to see the current Treaty negotiations stopped in order:
      That a mandate process be re-run from the start (YES/NO); OR
      b. That the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry into the historical grievances of Whakatōhea (YES/NO)
  • That voting be through hapū, postal and web voting, and votes recorded on a hapū basis
  • That the Crown engage with the Mokomoko whānau to discuss aspirations of the whānau around settlement and an appropriate tribute
  • That the Crown engage directly with the Te Kahika claimants to understand their wishes

Who decided on the voting questions and what are they based on?

Questions for the vote were written by the Waitangi Tribunal and are based on the submissions it heard from claimants during the urgency hearing. Claimants also had a chance to make comments on the questions and the proposed explanatory statement. The questions and the explanatory statement were finalised by Rhys Harrison QC.

You can find more information on the voting questions on the Waitangi Tribunal Explanatory Statement. Click here to read this document.

 

What does the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust think of the report’s findings?

While we don’t agree with all of the Tribunal’s findings, we welcome the recommendation that Whakatōhea hapū be given the opportunity to decide how to proceed. We remain committed to establishing a settlement for all Whakatōhea and will work with all parties to address the Tribunal’s recommendations.

 

Is the vote being managed independently of the Trust and claimants?

Yes, the voting process is being run by an independent election organisation, Electionz as the Independent Returning Officer This ensures the process is fair, democratic, and in line with the Waitangi Tribunal’s direction.

 

Will my information remain private?

Your information will be held by the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board on our behalf and will be protected under the Privacy Act 1993.

 

When will the vote happen and what will it involve?

Voting is happening from 1 October through to 26 October through postal, and web voting, with votes recorded on a hapū basis.

Adult registered members of Whakatōhea will have received explanatory information and a voting form in the post, and may vote online or return their vote in the envelope provided.

If you are not registered, and you are an adult of Whakatohea descent, you may request a registration form or special voting pack by contacting the election helpline: phone on 0800 666 033 or (03) 377 3530, or email iro@electionz.com.

 

How long will it take until we get the results of the vote?

We expect to receive the results within two weeks of voting closing. These will be communicated to you via pānui, social media and our website.

What happens to the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust now?

The Trust is committed to continuing to act for all of Whakatohea. We look forward to the outcome of this vote and having our mandate reconfirmed.

We have already voted on the mandate. Do we have to vote again?

The Tribunal has recommended that all Whakatōhea vote again on whether they support the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust continuing to negotiate a settlement with the Crown. The Trust agrees it’s a good idea that we test the pulse of the people, and encourages all members to vote as they did 2 years ago when 91.6% of those who voted, voted in favour of the Trust’s mandate.

Does the Whakatohea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust have a mandate to negotiate the settlement?

The Trust gained a very high level of support from hapū and the iwi (91.6% of those who voted, voted in favour of the mandate) to establish itself as the mandated entity for Whakatōhea in 2016. Following challenges from claimants, the Waitangi Tribunal suggested a second vote to allow all Whakatōhea whānau to have their say.

The Crown does not mandate the Trust, instead it recognises that our people have done this.

This upcoming vote is an opportunity for whānau to re-confirm the Whakatohea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust’s mandate.

What happens to the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust if I vote for a re-mandating process?

If it is decided that people do not support the Trust continuing to negotiate a settlement for Whakatōhea, the current Trust would be dissolved. A process would then be undertaken to establish a new entity.

What happens to the settlement we’ve already agreed to if we vote for re-mandating?

This will be a decision for the Crown to consider as it reviews the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal report.

What is the value of our settlement negotiated so far?

There is the financial value of the settlement and then the value to the Iwi. It is easy to look at the $100million, then include the $2million in interest and say that this settlement is one of the top five that have been negotiated and in the top 3 on a per capita basis.

This however, is not necessarily where the true value of the settlement is. In commercial terms the prospective value of the sea space that has been secured has a potential to dwarf the number value set out within the settlement. In social terms, the number of jobs that will be generated will ensure that our people can return home and prosper. We could also develop our own infrastructure to support them, as our tupuna sought to do.

In real terms, the settlement itself will equip the Iwi to assert huge authority and influence over and within our rohe in a practical expression of mana whenua and mana moana.

What are the timeframes for settlement?

Dates have not been set for the remaining stages however, if Whakatohea continue to support the negotiations to reach a settlement with the Crown, it is possible that we could initial a Deed of Settlement with the Crown by June 2019. At that point, Whakatohea will once again be given the opportunity to vote on whether the settlement should be accepted. If Whakatōhea decides to accept the settlement, it will be given effect through legislation.

If we continue on our current path, this could happen as early as December 2019.

If we decide not to continue with the current negotiations, then it is likely that more time will be required for a Treaty settlement to be completed. It is safe to say that if this is our decision, a settlement will likely not be achieved for at least 10 years.

Is it an all-inclusive settlement?

Yes this is a comprehensive settlement. One of the reasons the $40m settlement offer in 1996 was rejected was because the Iwi provided a mandate for a raupatu settlement, not a comprehensive one.

Why is it that we don’t have to wait for a Tribunal Inquiry to have our story told?

There is value in research for our own understanding and reconciliation. Additional research is not required for the negotiations because the Crown has already accepted that all the land taken occurred through raupatu. We can conduct research ourselves and share it with the wider Iwi in our own way.

We do not have to wait for an inquiry to create a strong foundation for our future, or to have our story told.

Our AIP includes a framework for the historical account which will be further developed when we draft the final settlement. Having our “day in court” won’t change the face of any settlement that will likely be negotiated, and the Tribunal’s findings will likely be nonbinding on the Crown.

Who are Ngati Muriwai?

Ngati Muriwai were recognised in the granting of land for the Opape Native Reserve. They were not included as a hapū when the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board was established in the 1950s. Some argue they are a part of Ngati Rua and should be recognised as such.

How do interests relate to MACA? How Will AIP affect customary marine interests to those titles?

MACA allows applicants to test whether they have exercised exclusivity within the coastal marine area. This ability is not affected by the AIP and the settlement does not settle claims to the Marine and Coastal Area.

It is important to note that the AIP stipulates that the settlement will provide that: nothing that extinguishes or limits any aboriginal title, or customary rights, that Whakatōhea may have. In this regard, it is clear that the MACA claims before the Court will be unaffected by the settlement.

MACA is not a settlement – it’s about property rights which is totally different, and this settlement won’t impact on hapū’s MACA applications.

What kōrero has been had with the hapū who has mana moana over the areas in the current settlement offer?

Kōrero has taken place with marae and hapū representatives. Their discussions about the marine space redress have been had at all of the hui-a-iwi, meetings with hapū, and information hui across the motu.

The main thing for the negotiations, was to lock that space down so that it would be there for Whakatōhea and its hapū. If we didn’t, it would have been susceptible to adverse applications by outsiders. So for us this was about protecting our mana moana.

What do negotiators get paid?

Our negotiators are on a fixed fee, paid through funding from the Office of Treaty Settlements, to run this negotiations process.

The entire settlement, if agreed by our people, will be coming back to Whakatōhea. None of it will be paid to the negotiators.

When we get this settlement, neither our negotiators nor our Chairman will take from the settlement. Everything that is being put on the table is for Whakatōhea noa iho. The negotiators are negotiating for Whakatōhea, not for themselves.

Are negotiators being paid to present at the information hui?

Negotiators are not being paid to present or to attend the information hui.

The time they are spending attending and presenting at the info hui is out of their own free will and their belief that this settlement is the best one we will get. We are thankful for their time and expertise.

What are claimant lawyers being paid?

The claimant lawyers have received more funding from the Crown to oppose the mandate, than has been supplied to the Trust to support the negotiation as a whole, including the legal fees. These are set out here, as at 13 June 2018. Source: Ministry of Justice – Official Information Act request.

What does an education endowment fund mean?

The education endowment fund has been put in place to support scholarships for whanau affected by the Raupatu.

What is the importance of the TEC relationship?

We also prioritised a relationship with the Tertiary Education Commission as capacity building is vital to realising the benefits of development.

If we train people but can’t create jobs, we just export them to other places. If we create jobs, but our people don’t have the skills we end up importing labour.

Has the Crown made any special allowance in its offer of $100 million to reflect the fact you’re not getting as part of the settlement any productive land from the crown?

One of the key reasons we were given 5000ha of marine space was to reflect the fact that there were no crown owned farms or crown owned forests within our rohe. In other settlements Crown properties (forests, farms) need to be purchased with settlement funds. We do not have to buy the 5000ha of marine space, the only cost to us is the process of gaining consent.

How were the hapū and marae representatives appointed?

Hapū representatives were put in place via a nomination process. Each nomination had to be supported by at least five hapū members. The process was also notified and advertised so that any hapū member who wanted to participate could.  Where more than one person was nominated, a vote was conducted so that the hapū could make their choice.

The marae representatives were appointed by the marae committees after completing the process that each hapū and marae thought was appropriate.

If we have a Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry, who funds the research?

Normally, the Crown Forestry Rental Trust funds research for a Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry.  Unfortunately, as there are not Crown Forest lands within our rohe, this is not a possibility.  This means that the Tribunal, or the claimants themselves will have to fund the research to have the claims prosecuted.

As the Waitangi Tribunal has very limited funding, and much of it is directed toward the many kaupapa inquiries and urgency applications that are currently before it, it is difficult to see how the research that the claimants say will be required will be able to be funded within the next 10 years.  There just isn’t the resource for this to happen.

We are not aware of any inquiry that has taken less than 10 years to run when you include the need to conduct the research.  We note that many have said that it has occurred but no one has actually identified any. That is because it hasn’t happened.

What could our settlement be worth in ten years?

That’s the amount of time it is likely to take to complete a district inquiry as well as going through a mandating and negotiations process. If we put the $100m in the Bank at 6% interest, it would generate around an additional $82 million. If we add in a potential increase in value around the marine space over that period too, we get to some pretty big numbers. The chances of getting that kind of settlement in the future are slim, especially given how the Crown has to maintain relativity between settlements.

How will this settlement impact the Takutai Moana claims of hapū that already have claims in front of the High Court?

No. The settlement does not affect those claims. The AIP states on pg. 69 that:

1.4  To avoid doubt, the settlement of the historical claims of Whakatōhea will not affect applications by iwi, hapū or whānau of Whakatōhea for the recognition of protected customary rights or customary marine title under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011.

This statement is very clear.

What happened to the whenua that went to private hands? Why can’t that whenua be returned to us?

Most of the lands that were confiscated now sits in private ownership as it was allocated by the Crown after it was taken.  Many have on sold those lands to others.  We also lost a lot of land through mechanisms like the Māori Land Court. Through those processes, our lands were lost to other iwi who laid claims and excluded us. In many cases, the descendants of those original claimants still own those lands, and in some cases they sold them. In many cases, the costs associated with the Court processes became too burdensome for our people and our land was taken for things like survey liens.  The lands would be sold to pay the debts.

We can’t get back privately-owned land within the settlement.  In some cases, those private owners are members of other Iwi who say that they have a claim to those lands. In other cases, people have purchased the lands and they don’t want to sell.  The Crown, however, does not purchase private lands within the settlement process.  When this was attempted in the past it created huge tensions within Te Roroa as the private owners sought to leverage their property. Since then, the policy has been to not include private lands within settlements.

It is important to note, that for the same reasons, the Waitangi Tribunal is not allowed to recommend the return of private lands.  So, a Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry will have no impact on this.

The settlement will, however, provide us with some effective mechanisms to assert control within and over our rohe. As lands become available, and as we grow, we can acquire them. We can even work toward the drafting of a Conservation Management Plan that prioritises the divestment of DoC lands into our hand.  In this way, we can over time work toward achieving the ongoing aspiration of ownership of our rohe even if it is one acre at a time.

In this regard, we have done well to get back as much land as we did and we don’t have to pay for it. We will have to make our own investment decisions if we want to buy other pieces of whenua. This is something all Settlement Iwi have to determine – where best to invest their Settlement for the benefit of iwi.

What customary rights over Wai Māori will Whakatōhea claim if any?

Claims to water are contemporary. They are currently being pursued nationally in a different forum. The Settlement does not settle any rights that we have to ownership of water. It does, however, provide for an acknowledgment of our connection to our rivers and ensures that people can’t, for instance, take the gravel from our rivers without talking to us first.

What are the liabilities on the properties we are getting back?

Many of the properties have some liabilities over them. These are considerations that have to be diligently considered prior to taking them on. This is something that WPSCT takes very seriously and we have relied on a number of our whānau who work within the property industry to advise us off such issues. Those whānau have given their time freely and without cost on the many roopu awhina that have been created so that Whakatōhea can be ready and efficient when we finally settle.

Where can I get more information on the vote?

A series of information hui are being held from 6 October to 14 October across the North Island. This is where you’ll be able to access more information on the Tribunal’s findings and the voting process. The dates of the hui arte also listed on this website page, which also contains detailed information on the vote.

The Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust, together with Kahui Legal and Te Roopu Awhina, have put together an ‘analysis of voting options’ document, to outline the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options you are being asked to vote on, in order to give you the additional information you may need to support your decision.

You can access this document here.

You can also access the Waitangi Tribunal Explanatory Statement here.

Why did the Claimants, who opposed the mandate and instigated the Waitangi Tribunal Hearings, object to this vote?

We believe that the majority of Whakatōhea do support the Trust to continue settlement negotiations on their behalf and we have welcomed the vote as an opportunity for whānau to have their say fairly.

The claimants have repeatedly objected to the vote and are seeking an injunction to halt the voting process. The claimants have said they have the majority of support but do not appear willing to let the voters decide.

It is important to remember that in 2016, 91.6% of those who participated in the vote, voted in favour of the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust mandate. 

If people’s details are not up to date on the tribal register, does this mean they cannot vote?

Whānau do not need to be registered to take part in this upcoming vote. All people who whakapapa to Whakatōhea can vote in this process – you can request a registration form or special voting pack by contacting the election helpline: phone on 0800 666 033 or (03) 377 3530, or email iro@electionz.com.

Will there be a re-vote for the Trustees and negotiators if the settlement continues?

Trustees for the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust were elected by the hapū and marae of Whakatōhea.

These Trustees then selected the settlement negotiators on your behalf as part of their representative duties.

If our people vote for the Trust to continue direct negotiations, the current Trustees and negotiators will return to their role.

I am registered but have not received any information about the vote?

If you are registered and have not received voting information this will be because your details are not up to date or correct. Please contact the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board to update your details.

It’s important to note you do not have to be registered to take part in this vote. You can request a special voting pack by contacting the election helpline: phone on 0800 666 033 or (03) 377 3530, or email iro@electionz.com.

Has the Waitangi Tribunal confirmed the Whakatohea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust can use the tribal register for this vote?

Yes. The Waitangi Tribunal is happy with the tribal register being used for the purposes of a vote.

Do you have to be registered to a hapū to vote?

You do not have to be registered to vote, however if you decide to submit a special vote (non-registered) you will be asked to nominate your primary hapū affiliation for voting purposes only.

You can request a special voting pack by contacting the election helpline: phone on 0800 666 033 or (03) 377 3530, or email iro@electionz.com.

Are all hapū represented by, and in support of, the Trust?

Yes, all hapū are represented in the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust.

We acknowledge that within each hapū there are individuals, including claimants, who don’t support our settlement.

This vote will give us a clearer picture about the level of support for continuing with direct negotiations, stop negotiations and run a re-mandating process, or wait to hold a district inquiry.

Why should I vote YES to Question 1?

A Treaty settlement can only occur through a negotiation process with the Crown.

Direct negotiations is the path that Whakatōhea chose through discussions over the past decade on what to do, and then voted overwhelmingly in support of the mandate process.

The Crown has already accepted that all our whenua was taken and that they need to apologise for their actions.

The Settlement delivers significant value for Whakatōhea. There is no guarantee the settlement offer will be maintained through an inquiry process. In 10 years, if we chose to vote yes to Question 1, we are likely to double our asset base.

The Trust also has representatives from Whakatōhea hapū and marae. We believe this is an appropriate form of representation.

The Crown has indicated, at present the Crowns negotiations work programme is full until 2020, meaning no new mandates can be advanced. We can reach settlement sooner. We can finally start building a better future for our tamariki and mokopuna.

If we continue direct negotiations, we will likely be able to have a vote to approve the Deed of Settlement by June 2019, with Settlement being completed by December 2019 and the establishment of a legal entity – Post Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE) so that we can finally start seeing progress for our iwi, hapū and whānau.

What will happen if we take an alternative course of action?

If we decide not to continue with the current negotiations, then more time will be required for a Treaty settlement to be completed, and there is no guarantee we will get a better settlement than what is currently on offer.

What are the disadvantages of re-mandating? (Question 2a)

The Trust does not support the re-mandating option. Re-mandating will take time. The Crown has indicated its negotiations work programme is full and they will not be looking at new mandates till 2020.

We would have to decide how the new entity is constructed. The current trust has hapu and marae representation which we believe is an appropriate form of representation. A new mandating process could still be challenged and there is no guarantee that our current Crown settlement offer will still be on the table.

What are disadvantages of a Tribunal District Inquiry?

The Trust does not support the Inquiry option. On average, a Tribunal District Inquiry takes “between two and six years to complete but it may be longer depending on how much time is necessary to complete the research programme”. A new mandating process and negotiation would follow, which could take up to ten years.

If we pursue this path, we will have to walk away from our current Crown settlement offer. It is unlikely to result in a better settlement offer than the one we currently have on the table, plus the additional value we would create in the next ten years. We do not have to wait for an inquiry to create a strong foundation for our future.

Why does the Trust say it will take longer to reach settlement if Whakatōhea choose to remandate or vote for a Tribunal Inquiry?

If Whakatōhea decide not to continue with the current negotiations, a settlement will not be achieved for at least 10 years. We shouldn’t have to wait to achieve a strong future for our tamariki and mokopuna.

A Tribunal District Inquiry takes “between two and six years to complete but it may be longer depending on how much time is necessary to complete the research programme”. A new mandating process and negotiations would follow, which could take up to ten years. We will have to walk away from our current settlement offer. It is unlikely to result in a better settlement offer than the one we currently have on the table, plus the additional value we would create in the next ten years.

Re-mandating will also take too much time. The Crown has indicated its negotiations work programme is full and they will not be looking at new mandates till 2020. A new mandating process could still be challenged and again there is no guarantee that our current Crown settlement offer will still be on the table.

Does the AIP include Whakatōhea overlapping areas of interest?

Yes, the Whakatohea settlement includes all our area. We have to agree with our neighbouring iwi how our interests within those areas of overlapping interests are turned into specific rights for Whakatohea (ie. right of first refusal on crown land)

How was the quantum calculated? What was the formula?

There is no specific formula, however, there are factors like Raupatu, amount of land loss, war and population. These are factors that the Crown generally uses to maintain equity across settlements.

The Whakatohea relationship with the Crown has been particularly egregious. We have suffered Raupatu, ethnic cleansing, and have been reduced to the point where less than 7% of our rohe is held by us. Our people sit within the lowest of the lowest socio economic levels.

For these reasons, we have been able to negotiate one of the largest settlement packages to ever have been negotiated with the Crown.

In addition to the $100m there is also a significant amount of land being returned (6692ha). This is far in excess of what is normally provided and recognises the subsequent land loss through non-raupatu means. Similarly, the 5000ha of marine space has never before been used as settlement redress but will provide additional value once consented. Our relationship with the Tertiary Education Commission is also unique and provides additional leverage into getting appropriate training for our people.

What does having marine space translate to practically?

A consent has been applied for over the marine space to ensure that it is protected against other commercial users.

While that application sits, no-one else will be able to gain a consent over that area.

While the intention is to progress those consents as far as we are able within the negotiations, this is costly.

For this reason, funds have been set aside within the AIP to achieve this. Once consented, the space is operationalised, and it will not only generate income for our people, it will also provide for employment and development within our area. With us controlling the sea space, we have a significant say in the development, and in who will benefit from our rohe moana. As aquaculture develops in that space the value will grow exponentially to benefit our tamariki and mokopuna.

When you were looking at marine space as part of this settlement, did you consider mana moana of hapū that were on the coastline since 1840s?

Yes we did. The marine environment is a shared space. People might access the ocean from a site at Opape or in town but once on the ocean they are free to travel and fish where ever they like. At the moment it is possible for any commercial developer to come apply for consent right outside the rohe of our hapū and iwi.

This settlement ensures the majority of space is maintained for Whakatōhea’s use. How we decide to make use of that space is up to Whakatōhea.

What is the Trust’s response to Mokomoko whānau’s recent comments at the information hui?

The Mokomoko whānau have already worked with the Crown. They have received two pardons, and had the last one statutorily recognised to restore Mokomoko’s mana.

The whānau participated within the Te Urewera inquiry process, and achieved a recommendation for an education fund.

They continue to engage directly with the Crown. Contrary to what has been reported, the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust have always supported ongoing engagement between the Crown and the Mokomoko whānau.

Success for the Mokomoko whānau in their engagement is success for Whakatōhea as a whole. It is difficult to see how the two are in opposition.

If we went to the Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry, would we lose our right to marine space?

Yes, we could lose it. If we went to the Tribunal, we might not have the resources to complete the consents and they could lapse if we did not do this in time. Without the settlement, the space would not be gazetted for us and they would then be unprotected and available for anyone who wanted to apply for a consent.

We would then be forced to protest the applications of others rather than supporting those of our own.

Did Ranginui Walker support a Tribunal Inquiry?

No, Ranginui Walker did not support a Tribunal Inquiry. In fact, he wrote a paper in support of getting a settlement done so that we could move to direct negotiations.

Why can’t we get more than $100m?

There are different factors to consider when negotiating a dollar amount with the Crown. Factors like Raupatu, amount of land loss, war and population. These are factors that the Crown generally uses to maintain equity across settlements.

The Whakatōhea relationship with the Crown has been particularly egregious. We have suffered Raupatu, ethnic cleansing, and have been reduced to the point where less than 7% of our rohe is held by us. Our people sit within the lowest of the lowest socio-economic levels. For these reasons, we have been able to negotiate one of the largest settlement packages to ever have been negotiated with the Crown.

In addition to the $100m there is also a significant amount of land being returned (6692ha). This is far in excess of what is normally provided and recognises the subsequent land loss through non-Raupatu means. Similarly, the 5000ha of marine space has never before been used as settlement redress but will provide additional value once consented. Our relationship with the Tertiary Education Commission is also unique and provides additional leverage into getting appropriate training for our people.

Why have other iwi got more than what is being offered to Whakatōhea?

There are only six Iwi settlements with a greater value than this offer. Most of those settlements are for iwi with much greater populations than ours at 12,1777 e.g. Waikato-Tainui (40,083), Ngai Tahu (54,819), Tuhoe (34,887), Ngati Porou (71,049) – Source: 2013 Census figures. Note also, these iwi have achieved their settlements, without going through a Tribunal Inquiry.

What does a cultural revitalisation fund mean?

The cultural revitalisation fund has been put together on the basis that we need to support the Marae and that the Marae would get 500k each.

An additional $1 million would also be available to support the cultural strategy.

What does a Reserve lands development fund means?

The main blocks of Maori land left in our hands are within the Opape Native Reserve and Hiwarau Reserve. Development opportunities are constrained by a lack of capital so we had to find a way to support new developments of our land blocks.

How are we prioritising education? How is the education fund being used?

The education fund is an endowment fund.  This means that the fund, and any income made off investing it has to be directed to education purposes.  In our view, the fund should be invested and distributions made solely out of the income.  This would ensure that it would not only be there forever, but that it would also grow.

How do we compare against the other large iwi settlements?

We are in the top 7. Only 7 settlements have been more than $100 million. Within that top 7, we have the highest per person ratio, in that all of the others have had significantly higher populations.

None of these settlements had a completed Inquiry report at the time the AIP was negotiated.

This does not include, the extras that have been negotiated, like the value of the sea space, the outcomes through the relationship with the Tertiary Education Commission.

We are also getting back the hospital lands for free which are worth over a million and the settlement quantum itself has gained $2 million in interest.

So, we compare very well with other iwi.

What is a Conservation Management Strategy – who develops it and who governs it?

It is a document that sets the strategy and priorities for the Department of Conservation as to how the area will be managed over the next ten-year period. The Conservation Management Strategy covers the Bay of Plenty region, however we will get a Whakatōhea specific chapter within that document as it relates to our land.

In this respect, we would co-author the chapter which sets the strategy and the priorities within our rohe. We do this as equals rather than as a group to be consulted.

Our chapter is about the things we want to achieve within our rohe and ensures an effective level of control over these lands.

If the WPST doesn’t get the support in this vote and negotiations are stopped, would we lose the sea space as we would run out of time before a Waitangi Tribunal was completed and other overseas investors would claim it?

Yes, we could lose it. If we went to the Tribunal, we might not have the resources to complete the consents and they could lapse if we did not do this in time. Without the settlement, the space would not be gazetted for us and they would then be unprotected and available for anyone who wanted to apply for a consent.

We would then be forced to protest the applications of others rather than supporting those of our own.

Can we get back privately owned land?

We can’t get back privately-owned land within the settlement. However, the settlement will provide us with the seeds to assert effective control within our rohe. As lands become available, we can purchase them if we want. An ongoing aspiration is to achieve complete ownership of our rohe even if it is one acre at a time.

So in this regard, we have done well to get back as much land as we did and we don’t have to pay for it. We will have to make our own investment decisions if we want to buy other pieces of whenua. This is something all Settlement Iwi have to determine – where best to invest their Settlement for the benefit of iwi.

Will you be using a portion of the $100m to buy land back?

In any settlement, people can choose to buy back certain areas of Crown-owned land e.g. forests. We will have rights of first refusal on certain properties that is being sold, and we can choose collectively if we buy back some of these properties.

What is the difference between our aquaculture space and other aquaculture spaces?

There is no aquaculture farm in the world that is bigger than the space that has been allocated for Te Whakatōhea. When the feasibility studies of the New Zealand coastline were carried out for aquaculture, our space was identified as being one of the prime spots and it generated significant interest from others.

We have now managed to lock this down for Whakatohea. The settlement will assist us in turning the space into something significant for our people and ensure our intergenerational development.

It will also ensure that we control the development there so that we can make sure that it occurs within our expectations and in a way that maintains our obligations of kaitiakitanga.

What’s the obligation on the Crown to follow what we say in our Chapter for the Bay of Plenty Conservation Management Strategy?

The Department of Conservation don’t just have to co-operate with us. They have to share the pen in the drafting of the strategy that will define the priorities and obligations in the Management Strategy from now till forever.

This is a very powerful tool and allows us to assert effective control over the DoC estate, including the prioritisation of it divesting land back to us when it is not fulfilling its obligations.

WAITANGI TRIBUNAL KEY FINDINGS

1. The Crown failed to act reasonably, honourably and in good faith
2. The Crown should not have recognised Pre-Settlement Trust Deed of Mandate in December 2016
3. There should be a temporary halt in negotiations with the Crown so all Whakatōhea can vote on how to proceed
4. All registered Whakatōhea members over 18 shall vote on the following questions:

QUESTION ONE:

Do you support the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust continuing to negotiate to reach a settlement with the Crown of the historical Treaty claims of Whakatōhea? (YES/NO)

OR

QUESTION TWO – PART ONE:

Do you wish to see the current Treaty negotiations stopped in order that a mandate process be re-run from the start? (YES/NO)

AND/OR

QUESTION TWO – PART TWO:

Do you wish to see the current Treaty negotiations stopped in order that the Waitangi Tribunal can carry out an inquiry into the historical grievances of Whakatōhea? (YES/NO)

VOTING ON THE WHAKATŌHEA PRE SETTLEMENTS CLAIMS TRUST MANDATE

The Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Trust welcomed the vote on whether to continue the current Settlement process, re-mandate, or hold a Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry.

The vote was recommended by the Waitangi Tribunal following its inquiry into the Trust’s mandate to negotiate a Treaty settlement on behalf of Whakatōhea. The Tribunal found that the Crown had breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi by recognising the mandate and recommended that settlement negotiations be paused while Whakatōhea vote on how to proceed. In doing so, the Tribunal recognised the package in the Agreement in Principle (AIP) was worth preserving.

This vote provided an important opportunity to test the pulse of our Whakatōhea nation and for whānau and hapū come together as an iwi to decide on what happens next in our shared settlement journey.

Voting ran from 1 October to 26 October, with all registered members of Whakatōhea aged 18 and over having a chance to vote.

Independent Returning Officer Electionz was appointed for the vote. Adult registered members of Whakatōhea  received explanatory information and a voting form in the post from Electionz and could vote online or return their vote in the envelope provided. Those adults of Whakatōhea descent who were not registered at the time of the vote could request a registration form or special voting pack by contacting election helpline on 0800 666 033 or (03) 377 3530 or by email to iro@electionz.com.

The result of the Whakatōhea vote on the future of its Treaty of Waitangi claims were announced on 13 November 2018, with majority support for the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust (the Trust) and its continued work to achieve a comprehensive settlement for all of Whakatōhea.

A total of 2,726 valid votes were cast on Question 1 with 56.27% (1,534 votes) opting to support the Trust and its work.

Further information on the proposed Whakatohea settlement is available from a resource page at www.electionz.com/whakatohea.

INFORMATION HUI

A series of information hui were held in October to provide more information on the voting process and our Treaty settlement journey. These hui were livestreamed to Facebook.

OPOTIKI 
Date: Saturday 6 October 2018
Venue: Opotiki RSA, St John St, Opotiki
Time: 10.30am

MT MAUNGANUI
Date: Monday 8 October 2018
Venue: Club Mt Maunganui, 25 Kawaka St, Mt Maunganui
Time: 6.00pm

ROTORUA
Date: Tuesday 9 October 2018
Venue: Taharangi Marae, Tarewa Road, Rotorua                                 
Time: 6.00pm

WHAKATANE
Date: Wednesday 10 October 2018
Venue: Eastbay REAP, 21 Pyne St, Whakatane 
Time: 6.00pm

HAMILTON
Date: Friday 12 October 2018
Venue: Waikato University, Room KG11, K Block, Gate 1 off Knighton Road, Hillcrest Hamilton
Time: 6.00pm

AUCKLAND
Date: Saturday 13 October 2018
Venue: Glen Eden Primary School, 
3 Glenview Road,
Glen Eden, Auckland
Time: 10.00am

WELLINGTON
Date: Sunday 14 October 2018
Venue: Lyall Bay School Hall,
Opposite 27 Freyberg St,
Lyall Bay, Wellington
Time: 10.00am

WPCT INFORMATION HUI PRESENTATION

ANALYSIS OF VOTING OPTIONS

The Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust, together with Kahui Legal and Te Roopu Awhina, put together an ‘analysis of voting options’ document, to outline the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options you were asked to vote on, in order to give you the additional information you needed to support your decision.