Te Ūpokorehe Treaty Claims Trust (TUTCT) has circulated a petition asking Te Whakatōhea to support the removal of Te Ūpokorehe claims, whenua, and sacred sites from the Whakatōhea settlement. They state it is because they aren’t and have never been Whakatōhea, that their whakapapa is different to Te Whakatōhea, and they have never been represented on the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust.
The statements made in the petition information don’t represent our shared whakapapa, history, the nature of our relationships, or the involvement of Te Ūpokorehe in negotiating the Whakatōhea Settlement over the last 5 years of negotiations.
On the 28th July 2022 voting opens and you will be asked whether you support the removal of Te Ūpokorehe from our Iwi. Our Ūpokorehe whānau tell us they know who they are and where they come from, they are tūturu Te Ūpokorehe, and tūturu Whakatōhea.
It is now up to our Iwi, who get to vote on this historic occasion. To keep our Iwi together, or to break us apart and forever change who Whakatōhea is.
We encourage you to Vote NO on your voting form.
TUTCT were initially set up to support ngā uri of Te Ūpokorehe in the advancement of Treaty Claim matters for the hapū. For example, in 2011 TUTCT wrote to advise Tūhoe that:
“Te Ūpokorehe has been a functioning member of the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board since the passing of the Māori Trust Board in 1955, Since then it has consistently re affirmed its allegiance to Te Whakatōhea.”
It is important to note that TUTCT did not go through a mandate process with Te Ūpokorehe members and does not have the support of many of our Ūpokorehe whānau. We feel for them and their mamae as their whakapapa is being challenged. You can read some Te Ūpokorehe whānau comments later in this pānui.
TUTCT Claims & WPCT Response
It is our whakapapa that links all the 6 hapū of Whakatōhea together, including Te Ūpokorehe. It was our tūpuna that chose Whakatōhea as the name of our Iwi on the basis of whakapapa that linked us as one.
The chart displayed above sits in the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board meeting room, reinforcing relationships between our hapū. There are also pou representing each hapū as well as photos of the foundation Trustees. These relationships are reinforced by our whakapapa and visible in the whakairo at our marae. We are all whānau.
Kia ngākau māhaki tātou i a tātou.