Are the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust (WPCT) and Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board the same entity?

No. They are two different entities who are responsible to Whakatōhea members. The Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust or WPCT, has been chosen by Whakatōhea whānau to negotiate with the Crown to reach a Settlement. The Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board or WMTB, are responsible for the management of the Tribal Database and current Whakatōhea assets. Once Settlement is reached, these 2 entities will likely combine into one. This is called the Post Settlement Governance Entity or PSGE. What the PSGE will look like is currently being researched.

Both organisations serve the same membership, te Iwi o Whakatōhea, and trustees are elected by their respective hapū (and marae in the case of WPCT). Some hapū/marae have elected the same person to represent them in both forums.

Yes, the Crown has recognised the WPCT mandate to negotiate the Settlement following the initial Iwi wide vote in 2016 and the Iwi wide vote to continue negotiations following the Mandate Inquiry. The Crown also agreed to allow Whakatōhea to continue with a Tribunal Inquiry process after the Settlement process is completed. This is the first time this has been allowed.

Representatives from each hapū actively participated in the processes that led to the establishment of Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust. The Trust has representation from each hapū and all marae (except Roimata).

No. There are 25 claims relating to Whakatōhea listed in the AIP. An Iwi Settlement always settles the claims made on behalf of the members of that Iwi. The majority of the claimants wanted to have a Waitangi Tribunal hearing and that outcome has been delivered. The Settlement process will settle the grievances of the Iwi (also known as the claimant community) and the Iwi decides who represents them in this process.

When Whakatōhea began the Settlement negotiation process in the 1990s there was only one claim: Wai87. This was essentially an iwi-wide claim. However, anyone is able to submit a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, and since the 1900s a number of people have put in additional claims on behalf of different whānau and hapū. The Whakatōhea negotiations are being done on behalf of the Whakatōhea claimant community and include whānau, hapū, and the iwi claims that sit within our rohe.

Ngāti 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 Ngāti Rua and should be recognised as such.

Dates have not been set for the remaining stages however, we are in the middle of compiling the ratification strategy on the AIP. Once this has been completed, likely end of June 2020, then Whakatōhea 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 we could have the chance to ratify (vote on) the Deed of Settlement before the end of October 2020. 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.

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. While Mokomoko was a raNgātira of Whakatōhea and is central to our history of raupatu, the whānau suffered much and should be able to negotiate reparation for their tīpuna.

MACA is the Marine and Coastal Area Act also known as the Takutai Moana Act. A consent has been applied for over the 5000ha 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. The Settlement does not affect Takutai Moana 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.

The financial value of the Settlement exceeds $100million which is one of the top ten that have been negotiated and in the top three on a per capita basis. This 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 tīpuna sought to do. In cultural 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.

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 approximately 15,000 (as at April 2020) e.g. Waikato-Tainui (40,083), Ngai Tahu (54,819), Tuhoe (34,887), Ngāti Porou (71,049) – Source: 2013 Census figures. Note also, these iwi have achieved their Settlements, without going through a Tribunal Inquiry.

There is no aquaculture farm in the world that is bigger than the space that has been allocated for Te Whakatōhea. We have now managed to lock this down for Whakatōhea. The Settlement will assist us in turning the space into something significant for our people and ensure our intergenerational development. With the recent announcement about funding for the Harbour entrance and the Mussel factory the aquaculture space will be able to be fully developed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The main blocks of Māori 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.