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

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