Waitangi Tribunal Update

Waitangi Tribunal Update

Kia ora e te whānau, we’ve received the following update from our negotiating team on the Waitangi Tribunal process:

“We are still working with the Tribunal to formalise the arrangements for the upcoming vote including the material for the explanatory statement which will outline the context, the options and the relative merits of each approach. We have had to revise our timeframes around the voting process to allow for feedback from the claimants and the Waitangi Tribunal. The current plan is to open voting on 10 September and close on 5 October, with information hui to be held around the motu from 15-23 September. The timing may be affected by the outcomes from the inquiry into the WMTB which is due to be completed on 17 August, however we will update you if there are any changes.”

New Trustees for Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust

New Trustees for Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust

Audrey Grace-Renata

The Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust welcomes Audrey Hinerangi Cossette Grace-Renata as the newest Trustee. Read on to learn more about her.

“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.


Linda Graves

The Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust welcomes Linda Graves as the newest Trustee. Linda has replaced former Trustee Te Wheki (Frank) Porter. Read on to learn more about her.

“Kō Mākeo te maunga, Kō Waiaua te awa, Kō Omarumutu te marae, Kō Ngati Ruatakena te hapū, Ko Te Papuni te ingoa o tōku whanau, Ko Linda ahau.

“I’ve always had an affinity with numbers. I graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies in Accounting and Finance in 2004 and I am a qualified Associate Chartered Accountant.

“I spent 6 years as a senior analyst with Deliotte, before joining Moana New Zealand in 2012 as a Financial Accountant. I moved into our Operations Division in 2016 taking up my current role as Fin Fish Management Accountant for Moana New Zealand.

“My approach is pragmatic and methodical, and I thrive on being presented with a challenge and finding a solution.
Every day I have the privilege of serving all 58 Iwi through my mahi with Moana New Zealand, the only pan-Iwi organisation and one of New Zealand’s largest fishing companies.

“This is a new dawn for our Iwi, hapu and marae. As a mother of three tamariki, it is my honour to come home and serve my own Iwi and to help ensure Whakatōhea is well-placed for our future generations.”

Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust welcomes release of Waitangi Tribunal report

Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust welcomes release of Waitangi Tribunal report

Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust (the Trust) has welcomed today’s release of a Waitangi Tribunal report inquiring into the Trust’s Deed of Mandate to settle the Treaty claims of the Whakatōhea iwi.

Chairman Graeme Riesterer says the Trust is now working through the report’s findings in detail and considering how best to address the Tribunal’s recommendations.

“Our job is to work on behalf of Whakatōhea – those of us here now as well as those of us to come, and to acknowledge and protect the mana of those who have gone before us,” he says.

“The Trust remains committed to continuing to act in the best interests of all Whakatōhea.”

Mr Riesterer says the Trust acknowledges that the Tribunal has identified a need to test the ‘pulse of the people’ in relation to the current settlement negotiations.

However, he believes the findings of the report should be considered in the context of the efforts Whakatōhea has made to try to achieve a settlement, which include more than 20 years of discussions and at least seven years’ work to achieve a mandate.

“We believe the progress we have made in negotiations with the Crown is a hugely positive step for Whakatōhea,” he says.

“Our goal has always been, and continues to be, to establish an enduring settlement for all of Whakatōhea.”

The Trust says it has been encouraged by the support from iwi members throughout the Waitangi Tribunal hearing process, especially kuia and kaumātua who have strived for decades to achieve a settlement for Whakatōhea.

“We have been humbled by their tautoko and want to recognise their commitment to this important kaupapa,” says Mr Riesterer.

“The Trust also acknowledges that reconfirming support for our settlement negotiations amongst all the members of our hapū would be a positive step, and both the Trust and the Crown supported this idea during the Waitangi Tribunal hearing.”

Mr Riesterer confirms that the Trust also supports the Tribunal’s recommendation for the Crown to engage with the Mokomoko and Te Kahika whānau.

“We are all whānau and, as we have always said, we need to come together on this journey.

“Anybody can disagree with this settlement, that’s their right, but if the majority of our iwi decide this is the right settlement then we owe it to them and our tīpuna to progress.”

The Trust says it will communicate with all its iwi members on next steps through a further round of hui-a-hapū and hui-a-rohe in the coming weeks.

“We want to kōrero with all of our people to let them know what effect the report will have, once we have fully considered the Tribunal’s findings,” Mr Riesterer says.

“We believe this settlement is crucial to the future of our iwi. The settlement redress will not only acknowledge the past, but will give all of Whakatōhea the tools to be able to drive our own future.”

Whakatōhea Sign Agreement In Principle with Crown

Whakatōhea Sign Agreement In Principle with Crown

Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust has today signed an Agreement in Principle with the Crown at Parliament, which it says is a positive step towards settling its historical Treaty of Waitangi

Chairman Graeme Riesterer says Whakatōhea first attempted to settle its raupatu (land confiscation) claims against the Crown over 20 years ago, and is pleased to be getting closer to achieving what its
kaumātua set out to do so long ago.

“Today’s signing of the Agreement in Principle is an important milestone for us,” he says.

“Our kaumātua struggled for so long and endured so much hardship to achieve this settlement, and we owe it to them to complete this journey.”

Kaumātua and Trustee Bruce Pukepuke says the settlement is about much more than financial redress, as the iwi can never be adequately compensated for the huge losses they endured.

“This settlement is about us as a people, rediscovering our Whakatōhea identity and coming together as one,” says Mr Pukepuke.

“Although this is a Crown process, it is also an opportunity for our iwi, hapū and whānau to reconnect with our hau kāinga.

“We believe it will allow our people to begin to heal.”

Over the past year Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust has held hui throughout Aotearoa to ensure the views and aspirations of Whakatōhea are reflected in any settlement outcome.

Mr Riesterer says the Trust has been encouraged by feedback from its people around the progress that has been made to date.

“We appreciate that not all our whānau will agree, but we are focused on working to get the best outcome for all of Whakatōhea.

“Our role is to ensure our iwi can look to a brighter future, and facilitate them to thrive culturally, socially, and economically,” Mr Riesterer says.

The Trust will now negotiate the details of the settlement with the Crown, in the hopes of reaching a draft Deed of Settlement in the next 12 to 18 months. Trustees are calling on all Whakatōhea descendants to register and play a part in the journey.

“If you whakapapa to Whakatōhea, it is your birth-right to be a part of this.”

For more information visit www.whakatoheapresettlement.org.nz

WPCT Chairman Graeme Riesterer and Treaty Negotiations Minister Hon. Christopher Finlayson sign the AIP at Parliament.

About Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust
It is widely acknowledged that Whakatōhea suffered significant prejudice from various Crown acts and omissions since 1840, including the large scale raupatu (confiscation) of Whakatōhea whenua
(land) in the 1860s. Whakatōhea first attempted to settle the historical Whakatōhea raupatu claims against the Crown in 1996.

The Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust was set up in October 2016 following an election and appointment process. 91.6% of the iwi voted in favour of the Trust progressing a Whakatōhea Treaty
settlement with the Crown.

Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims 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.

Buses for AIP Signing

Buses for AIP Signing

Kia ora whānau

We have been overwhelmed by the support of Whakatōhea members wanting to attend the Agreement in Principle signing in Wellington this coming Friday.

There are two buses and a number of private vehicles travelling to Wellington for this event. Unfortunately, there is limited space at Parliament so only 220 Whakatōhea members are able to enter the hall for the
signing ceremony.

As of this point in time those spaces have been filled but we will be streaming the event on Facebook live and appreciate the excitement that this milestone is creating amongst our Iwi.

The whānau travelling to Wellington will be staying at Pipitea marae and that venue is also filling quickly so people may have to find other places to stay.

We look forward to seeing all our whānau travelling to Wellington.

Graeme Riesterer
Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust