Ōpōtiki and Whakatōhea to benefit from Harbour Development

Ōpōtiki and Whakatōhea to benefit from Harbour Development

Ōpōtiki and Whakatōhea to benefit from Harbour Development.

It was announced today that Ōpōtiki will benefit from a $79.4m investment from the Crowns Infrastructure Fund to develop the Ōpōtiki harbour. The development of the harbour will enable large scale commercial operations, primarily in aquaculture, to exist and support economic growth for the region.

The most significant benefit to the community will be the opportunities around job creation. Jobs for the development of the harbour as well as jobs created through ongoing marine and aquaculture expansion enabled by the harbour development.

In his announcement today Hon Shane Jones said of the 1850 jobs created from this project, 730 of those jobs would be in Ōpōtiki.

Chairman of the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust, Graeme Riesterer says this is a game changer for Whakatōhea and Ōpōtiki in terms of economic development.

“The community will benefit by the creation of hundreds of new jobs and higher wages. It provides jobs for Whakatōhea whānau who have had to leave the region, to come home to paid employment. And for our rangatahi who will now have opportunities to stay and live locally without missing out on career or development prospects”.

Mr Riesterer goes on to say “As Mr Jones also mentioned today, we know that sustainable seafood is on the rise globally, this trend supports our Mana Moana strategy for investment and growth in aquaculture initiatives to progress once the Whakatōhea Settlement has been ratified by whānau, and the harbour development enables this to happen. We aren’t just thinking about now, this Settlement is for all Whakatōhea, now and in the future and the harbour development is an enabler to various economic opportunities for our Iwi”.

Economist, Ian Dickson says the harbour development will enable a year-round navigable harbour entrance built to service large scale commercial operations to marine farm offshore from Ōpōtiki, in a safe and accessible way.

“A marine place of safety is essential for offshore marine farming to develop in the eastern Bay. It is the key piece of infrastructure that provides the backbone structure for the industry to grow on”.

The value of the 5000 ha of Whakatōhea water space reserved in the Whakatōhea Settlement agreement has lifted exponentially with this announcement. Mr Dickson goes on to say, “The value uplift for Whakatōhea from the harbour going ahead is $50 to $80 million in addition to their Settlement offer”.

This has been a welcome announcement for many in Ōpōtiki. Mr Riesterer concludes “it’s taken 15 years, but we see the investment in the redevelopment of the Ōpōtiki Harbour as the catalyst for transformative change, for Whakatōhea and the Ōpōtiki community. We’d like to acknowledge the Crown and Hon Shane Jones on their decision to invest in Ōpōtiki, and the Ōpōtiki District Council on their tireless advocacy of this project”.

About Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust
Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust (the Trust) was established in October 2016 following an election and appointment process with its mandate recognised in December 2016. 91.6% of the iwi voted in favour of the Trust progressing a Whakatōhea Treaty settlement with the Crown and an Agreement in Principle was signed with the Crown in August 2017. The Trust’s vision is “Whāia to pae tawhiti kia tata. Whāia to pae tata kiā maua” – Pursue the distant pathways of your dreams so they may become your reality. It aims to successfully negotiate a Deed of Settlement with the Crown to secure a robust and enduring platform for Whakatōhea into the future. For more information on the Trust and its work, visit www.Whakatōheapresettlement.org.nz

Media contact
Natalie Hilterman
+64 22 344 6287

Hui-ā-Rohe and Hui-ā-Iwi & AGM

Hui-ā-Rohe and Hui-ā-Iwi & AGM

Hui-ā-Iwi & Hui-ā-Rohe Schedule & AGM – February 2020.

We are pleased to be able to continue our settlement negotiations for Whakatōhea.
Come along and join us at our Hui-ā-Iwi and Hui-ā-Rohe and hear about the next steps in our settlement journey.

WPCT Stall

Information on Whakatohea Settlement Mataatua Kapa Haka Regionals 2020

Thursday 06th & Friday 07th February 2020
Ohui Reserve
8.00am to close on both Thursday & Friday


Tuesday 11th February 2020
War Memorial Hall – Reception Lounge
Short Street
6.00pm to 8.00pm – Followed by supper


Wednesday 12th February 2020
Taharangi Marae
26 Tarewa Road
6.00pm to 8.00pm – Followed by supper


Thursday 13th February 2020
Club Mount Maunganui
45 Kawaka Street
Mount Maunganui
6.00pm to 8.00pm – Followed by supper


Friday 14th February 2020
Western Community Centre – Training Room
46 Hyde Avenue
6.00pm to 8.00pm – Followed by supper


Saturday 15th February 2020
Glen Eden Primary School
3 Glenview Road


Sunday 16th February 2020
Brentwood Hotel
16 Kemp Street
10.00am to 12.00pm – Followed by a light lunch


Monday 24th February 2020
St Andrews Presbyterian Church Lounge
300 Market Street, South
06.00am to 8.00pm – Followed by supper


Tuesday 25th February 2020
Te Wananga o Aotearoa Whirikoka Campus
630 Childers Road
06.00am to 8.00pm – Followed by supper


Saturday 29th February 2020
Terere Marae
Terere Pa Road
Hui a Iwi – 10.00am to 12.00pm – Followed by a light lunch before the
AGM – 1.00pm to 3.00pm

Come along to our AGM and Hui-ā-Iwi

Come along to our AGM and Hui-ā-Iwi

Notice of annual general meeting and Hui-ā-Iwi



Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust invites you to join our Annual General Meeting and Hui-ā-Iwi.

10.00 AM – AGM

  • Chairman’s Report
  • Annual Report
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Resolutions:
    – To receive the Chair’s Report
    – To receive the Annual Report
    – To receive the Audited Financial Statements
  • Update on Treaty Settlement Business
  • General Business

Note: Copies of the Annual Report are available on request from the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust Office.

12.00 PM – LUNCH

1.00 PM – HUI-Ā-IWI

  • Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust update

Nau mai haere mai koutou katoa.

Graeme Riesterer

Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust
For any enquiries, please contact Gina Smith
Telephone 07 315 6150 or email gina.smith@whakatohea.co.nz

Meri Kirihimete 2019 to all our whānau at home and abroad

Meri Kirihimete 2019 to all our whānau at home and abroad

Message from the Chairman

Tēnā koutou katoa,

As we close 2019, we take the opportunity to look back on the year that has been for our Iwi.

Continuation of settlement negotiations

After many months of our settlement negotiations being at a standstill, we were pleased to finally be able to re-continue negotiations with the Crown in October of this year.

The Crown has recognised the commitment of the Trust, and the support of our people to move forward, in consultation with Whakatōhea hapū and whānau, to transform our Agreement in Principle into a Deed of Settlement for all our iwi to vote on in the future.

Our Settlement means opportunity for Whakatōhea. It is a comprehensive settlement of $100 million (plus accrued interest of approximately $4 million) which will help us equip our iwi to assert huge authority and influence over and within our rohe in a practical expression of mana whenua and mana moana. It will also help generate jobs to ensure that our people can return home and be successful. We are also keen to ensure a meaningful historic account is included in our settlement and this will be a significant focus of our discussions with hapū and the Crown in the coming year.

I encourage you to read our AIP here for more detail on what has been negotiated so far. The infographic in this pānui also provides a clear snapshot of the key features of our settlement.

If you have any questions on our settlement, I encourage you to contact the Trust on 07 315 6150, or send us an email at gina.smith@whakatohea.co.nz.

District Inquiry

You will be well aware that earlier this year, in June, the Waitangi Tribunal announced a Waitangi Tribunal District Inquiry into claims for the north-eastern Bay of Plenty area.

Importantly, the Minister of Treaty Negotiations’ decision to resume negotiations, means our settlement does not have to wait for the District Inquiry to be complete – negotiations can happen in parallel to what the Trust recognises is an important process for our people.

This is the best possible outcome for Whakatōhea and means everyone will get what they asked for in the recent vote.

Hapū elections

In August, the Trust initiated an open and independent voting process, consistent with the WPCT Trust Deed, to elect our Hapū and Marae Representatives.

The Hapū and Marae Representatives for the next three years are:

  • Dave Ngatai
  • Audrey Renata
  • Graeme Riesterer
  • Erin Moore
  • Linda Grave
  • Pare Mafi
  • Tahu Taia
  • Mana Pirihi
  • Anau Apanui
  • Jason Kurei
  • Keita Hudson
  • Muriwai Kahaki
  • Bruce Pukepuke

The Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board Representative is Robert Edwards.

The Trust looks forward to working with all over the coming years.

Hui-Ā-Iwi and Hui-Ā-Rohe

It was great to see whānau at our Hui-Ā-Iwi and Hui-Ā-Rohe across Te Ika a Māui in October through to December. It was encouraging to see familiar faces and also a few new faces supporting our kaupapa for Whakatōhea.

We have also put together some ‘mythbusters’ for whānau to refer to when it comes to our settlement negotiations and other matters. I encourage you to read these here.

In particular, here are some key facts:

  • The Trust has the mandate to carry out Treaty settlement negotiations.
  • The benefits of the settlement will go to Whakatōhea, not the WMTB, or our negotiators.
  • Tribunal Report will not increase the value of our Settlement.
  • The Trust is not part of the Waitangi Tribunal District Inquiry.
  • The Trust did not set the questions for the vote in 2018 – these questions were suggested by the Waitangi Tribunal in its Mandate Inquiry Report.
  • Our settlement will not have an impact on the MACA claims – this is part of another process.

We hope we were able to answer any pātai you had at the hui and from information on our website, and we look forward to seeing you at future hui over the coming year.

What’s in store for 2020?

We look forward, now, more than ever to what 2020 has in store for our Iwi. Our aim is to make 2020 the year where we will finally transform our Agreement in Principle into a Deed of Settlement for you to have your say on. We will be looking for input from whānau and hapū into the Historic Account, Crown Acknowledgements, Statements of Association, Overlapping Claims, and the Post-Settlement Governance Entity.

We look forward to connecting with you next year through Hui-Ā-Iwi and Hui-Ā-Rohe, pānui, our website and social media where we will ensure you are updated on any news and updates relating to our settlement negotiations.

As we move into 2020, we assure you that the Trust will continue in its mahi for all of Whakatōhea, so that the ambitions our tīpuna had for us can become a reality, so that our mokopuna and their mokopuna can grow and prosper in our rohe, and beyond.

On behalf of all our Trustees, we extend a heartfelt mihi to Whakatōhea whānui who continued to stand by the Trust throughout 2019. We thank you for your patience, and for your continued support as we work to realise an enduring settlement for Te Whakatōhea.

Now, the festive season is almost here, and we, your Trustees wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Importantly, we hope you stay safe this festive season, and get to enjoy quality time with whānau. Mā te Atua e manaaki, e arahia, e tiaki hoki i ā tātou katoa i roto i te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou ka heke mai nei.

Whakatōhea Maurua.

Graeme Riesterer




Come along to our Hui-ā-Iwi and Hui-ā-Rohe

Come along to our Hui-ā-Iwi and Hui-ā-Rohe

We are pleased to be able to continue our settlement negotiations for Whakatōhea.

Come along and join us at our Hui-ā-Iwi and Hui-ā-Rohe and hear about the next steps in our settlement journey.

We will discuss the following topics:

·         The Minister’s decision to resume negotiations and what a parallel process looks like

·         A recap on where we are at in the Negotiations process

·         Where to from here – what are the key tasks to complete a settlement?

·         How whānau and hapū can get involved.


Hui Details:




Kutarere Marae, Main Road, Kutarere
1pm to 3pm
Followed by a shared tea




Eastbay REAP, 21 Pyne Street, Whakatāne
6pm to 8pm
Followed by a shared supper

Taharangi Marae, 26 Tarewa Road, Ohinemutu, Rotorua
6pm to 8pm
Followed by a shared supper

Club Mount Maunganui, 45 Kawaka Street, Mount Maunganui
6pm to 8pm
Followed by a shared supper

University of Waikato – Hamilton
S Ground Foyer, S.G.03
6pm to 8pm
Followed by a shared supper

Glen Eden Primary School, 3 Glenview Road, Auckland
10am to 12pm
Followed by a shared lunch

Brentwood Hotel, 16 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington
10am to 12pm
Followed by a shared lunch


We look forward to seeing you there.

If you have any enquiries, please contact Gina Smith:
Ph: (07) 315 6150 | Email: gina.smith@whakatohea.co.nz

Nau Mai, Haere Mai, Koutou Katoa.

Graeme Riesterer
Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust