Whāia te pae tawhiti kia tata. Whāia te pae tata kia maua.

Pursue the distant pathways of your dreams so they may become your reality.


Tino Rangātiratanga INDEPENDENCE


Represents the end of the 150 year struggle, Settlement is within our grasp. 2020 has been a mixed year so far for Whakatōhea. While we are all struggling with the COVID pandemic, the positives include hosting the Kapa Haka Regionals, the funding announced for the Harbour Entrance, and breaking the ground for a Mussel Factory. The Settlement will build on these positives and support our whānau to build a better future. Kia kaha Whakatōhea.

What’s my wai/What’s my WHY

Designed to encourage whānau to share where they have come from (what’s my wai – Ko wai koe – what’s your name, and Ko wai to awa – what’s your awa) and why they support this Settlement (what’s my why?) Check out what whānau have said by clicking here » or checking out the WPCT Facebook page here »

Have your say/Kōrero mai

The ‘Have your say/Kōrero mai’ speech bubble is about getting input from whānau. The Trust needs input from you on a range of issues, like the PSGE and Historical Account, so that the Settlement reflects whānau perspectives. Your hopes. Your dreams. Your aspirations. We are Whakatōhea.

Te Hoe / Paddle

The hoe represents courage, all of us being in the same waka, going into unchartered waters and making new discoveries for the Iwi. What this Settlement could mean for Whakatōhea tamariki, and mokopuna is profound.

The hoe also represents innovation and exploration, it will be used in communications when we talk about the future of Whakatōhea.

The Whakatauākī was written by our own, Te Kahautu Maxwell to express the potential of Whakatōhea. Although the tribe suffered raupatu and was rendered virtually landless, Whakatōhea are rich in knowledge, in our Whakatōheatanga our identity, knowing who we are, knowing our stories, our whakapapa. Check out more of our Whakatōhea Whakatauākī here »

Te Punga / Anchor Stone

The punga represents stability and relates to the story of our eponymous tīpuna, Muriwai, and her ability to hold the Mataatua waka steady when the men were exploring the Whakatāne shores. It represents the cultural connection to knowledge and history grounded in the past which provides stability for our future.

The punga will be used in communications when we are talking about the past and stories relating to Whakatōhea.

The Whakatauākī ‘Kura ki uta, Kura ki Tai’ refers to Pakihikura, the entrance to the Waioeka and Otara rivers in Ōpōtiki where we used to access the schools of fish in the rivers and schools of fish in the moana. We translate this to ‘Grounded at home, grounded afar’ to acknowledge the strengths of our people living at home and outside the rohe.

About Muriwai: Nine generations after the Nukutere canoe arrived from Hawaiki, the Mataatua waka brought the Whakatōhea female ancestor Muriwai, landing at Whakatāne. The captain, Toroa, and his men left the canoe and went inland to survey the land, unaware of the danger of the high rise and fall of the tides in New Zealand. Muriwai, seeing that the falling tide threatened to sweep the Mataatua waka out to sea, cried out, ‘Ka whakatāne au i ahau!’ (I shall acquit myself like a man!). She saved the waka and immortalised her actions in the name of Whakatāne.

Te Manawa / Heart

The manawa represents unity and our whakapapa to the whenua. The manawa design reflects Tarawa’s 2 pet fish, ngā pōtiki mai tawhiti from which Ōpōtiki derives its name. The manawa is formed by mirroring the two fish-tails and bringing their heads (koru) together to form a heart

The manawa is representative of our kinship and our connection to the whenua. It will be used in communications when we talk about whānau or hāpu.

The Whakatauākī was written by Te Kahautu and was composed to encourage Te Whakatōhea to unite. The strength of an iwi is through the unity of its membership, solidarity, an iwi is weak if it is divided. For more information on this click here to read more:

About Tarawa: Tarawa was the first ancestor to arrive from Hawaiki. According to one legend he swam to New Zealand and came ashore at Paerātā, east of the Waiōtahe River. There he released two pet fish in a spring which became known as Ōpōtiki-mai-tawhiti (the pets from afar). This name was later applied to the township of Ōpōtiki. Tarawa’s arrival is marked by two carved pillars commemorating the settlement of the land by Māori and later Pākehā ancestors.


All WPCT trustees are representatives of either a Whakatōhea hapū (6 representatives), Whakatōhea marae (8 representatives), or the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board (1 representative).

This ensures that all Whakatōhea marae and hāpu (and therefore whānau) have representatives who are looking after the needs of that particular rōpū.

If you have Trust queries or concerns, contact your local marae or hāpu trustee below for a kōrero, or contact Gina on gina.smith@whakatōhea.co.nz


I’m very passionate about settling the Whakatōhea Raupatu and Comprehensive claims with the crown. Many of our tīpuna have passed that started this process.

They would have loved to have seen our claims sorted and their Moko’s, Rangatahi and Whānau thriving in a rich, prosperous and vibrant Whakatōhea community. As a united Whakatōhea Iwi we can achieve this and I will do all the hours needed, to get it done and dusted for our Tīpuna, Whānau, Rangatahi and Moko’s. Our future generations.


“Ko Tarakeha te Maunga, Opepe te Awa, Opape te Marae, Ngai Tamahaua te Hapu, Ko Muriwai te Tipuna, Ko Audrey Grace-Renata ahau.

I am very passionate about settling the Whakatōhea Raupatu and Comprehensive Claims with the Crown. Whakatōhea’s future lies with our children and our Mokopuna. If I can help in any way to pave the way for them and all of Whakatōhea Iwi I will do my very best for them. They are our future generation.
Since 2005, I have been the Secretary for the Opape Marae and Urupa Trustees. I am also a Life Member of the New Zealand Māori Wardens Association, a Caregiver and a Cook at Thornton Park Rest Home.


Mai Waitangi ki Turanga ra e, te riu o Tamatea Matangi. Ko Matiti te maunga, Ko Waioweka te awa, Ko Ngāti Ira te hapū, Ko Whakatōhea te iwi. Ko aku nei tumahi wheako kua poipoia e tōku haukainga, me aku herenga whakapapa e hangai ana ki tēnei turanga tarahiti. Whakatōhea Working Party, Trustee – Māori Land Trust, Tu Ake Whakatōhea Collective, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waioweka Board of Trustees

I am passionate and committed to the kaupapa of whānau, hapū and iwi wellbeing. I take time to consider the issues, and provide well thought through comment and feedback. I am always mindful that I am a representative of my hapū and am therefore consultative and share information. The skills I bring to the Trust are: Sound knowledge of Whakatōhea Tikanga/kawa; Leadership and strategic thinking for rigorous and practical strategic planning; A sound understanding of the mandating process (participated in the Tu Ake Whakatōhea group); Well-developed hapū and iwi networks; Knowledge of Treaty of Waitangi as it relates to Māori whānau wellbeing; Clear understanding of processes, obligations and practices in governance; Excellent writing and communication skills in te reo Māori and English; and Planning, organising and being part of a team.


Ko Muriwai Kahaki nee TeWini ahāu. He mihi maioha tēnei i rārō i te whakaiti. Ko te Kaupapa e pa ana ki ahau, kia rauika nei tatou i raro i te iwi kotahi ko te Whakatōhea Tōku tipuna Maro Mu, TeWini he uri no Upokorehe. He uri hoki ia ki Ngai Tūhoe. Tōku Whaea Takirua Karauna, Kei raro ia Upokorehe Whakatōhea me Ngai Tūhoe.

I mahi au i raro te mātauranga hei kaiako kaiawhina mō te reo rangatira i Anamata he tauira ki te whai ngā mātauranga. I wamarie au ki te whi-whi tohu. I tēnei wā he tauira au mo Te Pre Settlement Claims Trust. Piki mai kake mai i runga tēnei waka ki te whaka kotahi ia tātou Whakatōhea nui tonu. Te mea nui o tēnei ao he tāngata he tāngata.


Ko Mākeo te maunga
Ko Waiaua te awa
Ko Ngāti Patumoana te hapū
Ko Waiaua te marae
Ko Te Whakatōhea te iwi
Ko Nukutere me Mataatua ngā waka
Ko Graeme me Paki Riesterer tōku ingoa.

I am passionate about Whakatōhea Iwi being able to settle their Comprehensive Raupatu claim with the crown. Many of those who started the process have passed and would have loved to have seen our Raupatu claim settled. The last offer to Whakatōhea by the Crown was withdrawn in 1996 which is now over 20 years ago. My dream is to see our Whakatōhea Iwi united and support one another to achieve a comprehensive settlement that will assist us in the future. It is time for Whakatōhea through the settlement process to develop our Cultural and Economic future for the benefit of all Uri. It is time for this transformation to occur, it is our responsibility to ensure that our mokopuna will have a future that has been the dream of all Whakatōhea for the past 150 years.


Ko Mākeo te maunga
Ko Waiaua te awa
Ko Ruamoko te tangata
Ko Ngāti Patu te hapū
Ko Te Whakatōhea te iwi
Ko Erin Linley Rangiwhakarewa Moore tōku ingoa.

I am an educator and I have taught for many years in Ōpōtiki, Hamilton and now I am a Deputy Principal at Thornton School. Qualifications: Bachelor of Education, He tohu Mātauranga Māori, Qualified/registered Teacher


Maui Hudson is Whakatōhea and affiliates primarily to Opape marae and the Ngai Tamahaua hapū.

He has been the Ngai Tamahaua representative on the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board for almost six years and is a Director on Te Pou Oranga o Whakatōhea, Eastern Seafarms Ltd, and the Whakatohea Fisheries Asset Holding Company. He lives in Hamilton with his wife and three children, and works at the University of Waikato where he is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies.


I was born, raised and educated in Ōpōtiki, served in the New Zealand Army and was the previous Board Secretary for the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board.

I was also involved in the Raupatu Claim WAI. 87 and I am a current Trustee on the Whakatōhea Lands Trust, Otanemutu Lands Trust, Ngāti Ngahere & Ngāti Ira Lands Trust, Whakapaupakihi 2 & 5 Trust and the Terere Marae Reservation.


I had the privilege of being raised in Omarumutu and our whānau home stands alongside those of the Ngāti Rua whānau who continue to live on our tūrangawaewae. Ngāti Rua hapū has always maintained that our whenua is a place where we can all connect, live and thrive. My role on the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust is to ensure that this becomes a reality for all Ngāti Rua whānau in the near future.

I have travelled the world as a national sports representative and I have completed studies in iwi and hapū development, policy and health sciences. As part of the national E Tū whānau violence prevention strategy I have been able to follow my passion of working alongside whānau, hapū, iwi and hāpori / communities. As a Māmā, kaimahi and hapū trustee/committee member I have seen the devastating impact of colonisation upon our people and their resilience, strength and committment to overcome this legacy and take control of their own destiny. I am honoured to be elected as one of our hapū representatives alongside Linda Grave, we are both dedicated to the tasks set down by our whānau of Ngāti Ruatākena hapū and more importantly to a future full of possiblities for our tamariki and mokopuna. “Kia nuku, nuku, Nukutere”.


Ko Matepuritaka te maunga
Ko Otara te awa
Ko Terere Moari te marae
Ko Ngāti Ngahere te hapū
Ko Whakatōhea te iwi.

Tēnā koutou, I am the Hapū representative for Ngāti Ngahere. My vocation is Social Work and my qualifications are, Bachelor of Arts – Honours Te Reo Māori, Bachelor of Social Science – Geography, Bachelor of Social Work, Diploma of Teaching (Secondary). Naaku noa Mana Pirihi. BRUCE


Born in Ōpōtiki
Educated at Ōpōtiki Primary Schools and Ōpōtiki College

Left Ōpōtiki College in 1959 to join the Royal NZ Navy in 1960 to 1987. Returned to Ōpōtiki and employed by the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board & Iwi Transition Agency. Worked for Norske Skog, Tasman for 21 years. I am a kaumātua for Kutarere Marae and the Royal NZ Navy.


Jason is a litigator with experience in most Courts from the District Court to the Supreme Court, the Māori Land and Appellate Courts, the Waitangi Tribunal, Environment Court and the Employment Relations Authority.

Jason has experience in a range of corporate, commercial, environmental and treaty negotiations where he takes a solutions-based and practical approach to achieve outcomes.


Ko Mātītī te maunga
Ko Waioweka te awa
Ko Ngāti Ira te hapū
Ko Opeke te marae
Ko Te Whakatōhea te iwi
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Jason Hone Hikitia Te Rangi Kurei tōku ingoa

Jason brings with him an accident insurance and public service background with experience in Māori and cultural development, management, strategy design, business analysis, project management. He is inspired by his kaumātua/pakeke and on their behalf, will contribute to the pathway that seeks to restore Whakatōhea’s mana, dignity and economic prosperity. A pathway that includes redress for the injustices forced upon the iwi in 1865 and 150+ years that followed. This is a time of transformation, and we have a responsibility to ensure the kaumātua/pakeke today see and know that their mokopuna will be assured an optimistic and thriving futur


My family and I moved home to Waiotahe in 1984. In that year I decided to involve myself as much as I could into Hapū and Iwi politics. With a young family at the time it was important for me to learn and understand my own connections to hapū and iwi, and become involved in Iwi decisions striving to fulfill the vision it had set, to become self sufficient and a self sustainable iwi.

Becoming a team member of the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board Research Roopu was the turning point for me, having a better understanding of the history and the great losses of Te Whakatōhea. It became even more meaningful for me to continue my involvement to be part of positive change for Whakatōhea and all its’ beneficiaries. This also reflected in my career choice of Social Worker and Whānau support for the community.


Chairman of the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board since 2009

This has been a personal journey for the last 16 years, a journey littered with surprises and obstacles that have been dealt with along the way. The first milestone of achieving Te Ara Tono which was produced and accepted in 2007, the second was the accepting of the Deed of Mandate by the Crown in 2016. As a trustee to the Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Claims Trust (WPSCT) I am 100% committed to achieving a comprehensive settlement of all Whakatōhea claims. The future for our whānau, hapū and iwi rests upon our shoulders. Fate has ordained us to complete this journey, this task to settle the claims. Once again I say, “Be inclusive, Be Transparent and Be Honest”, keep the door open. Do not take umbrage for those who choose to take another pathway, for that is their rightful and democratic choice. The pathway WPSCT has taken is also our rightful and democratic choice. So be united, be strong, and be confident for I believe we represent all of Whakatōhea.


All our whānau should register on the Whakatōhea tribal database so you can play a part in our Settlement. If you whakapapa to Whakatōhea, then it is your birth right to be a part of this!

If you are not registered on the Whakatōhea tribal database you are still able to exercise your right by casting a special vote, however, it is much easier to participate in Settlement process if you are registered.

You can find out if you are already registered or change your details by contacting the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board.

To register you simply need to:Whakapapa to a hapū of Whakatōhea. Be 18 years or older.



Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or enquiries. You can fill out the online form below or contact us directly.

To receive communications about the Settlement, you will also need to send an email to Gina at gina.smith@whakatohea.co.nz to be added to the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust database.

122 St John Street, Opotiki
Phone: 0508 WHAKATOHEA
Email: gina.smith@whakatohea.co.nz

Also follow our Facebook and Instagram pages online!