WPCT Chairman Graeme Riesterer
A Waitangi Tribunal District Inquiry is a mechanism for our people to have their grievances heard. The Trust is in total support of continuing our negotiations with the Crown while our people can have their say through this process (a ‘parallel process’). What this will provide is further depth to the history of Whakatōhea, your stories, our stories. We are all Whakatōhea.
A Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry involves the Tribunal holding hearings into Treaty Claims. Further research into claims would be conducted and the Tribunal would hear directly from claimants, whānau, and professional historians about their experiences and the Crown breaches of the Treaty since 1840. The Tribunal would assess that research and other evidence (including from the Crown) to make findings on how the Crown has breached the Treaty and what should be done about it.
WAI 1750 District Inquiry
Whakatōhea is part of the WAI1750 North-Eastern Bay of Plenty District Inquiry. The Inquiry includes over 100 claims including those from Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tai, and Te Whānau a Apānui. View here »
On the 30th September 2019, Hon Andrew Little confirmed a parallel process which allows other Whakatōhea grievances to be heard by the Waitangi Tribunal regardless of whether our claims have been settled by direct negotiations.
This has never before been done and reflects the results of the vote suggested by the Waitangi Tribunal following the WAI2662 Whakatōhea Mandate Inquiry, where a total of 2,726 valid votes were cast with 53% opting to support the Trust continuing to negotiate the Whakatōhea settlement, and 48% wanting to have a Waitangi Tribunal hearing.
WAI 2662 Whakatōhea Mandate Inquiry
In November 2017 the Waitangi Tribunal held an urgent hearing at Whakatāne to assess whether the Crown’s decision to recognise the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust Deed of Mandate was fair, reasonable and made in good faith.
After considering submissions from a number of hapū representatives, the Tribunal released the Whakatōhea Mandate Inquiry Report in April 2018.
This reported outlined the Tribunal’s findings that the Crown should not have recognised the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust Deed of Mandate in December 2016 and that the Crown had prioritised its political objective of concluding settlements by mid-2020 over a process that was fair to Whakatōhea.It also recommended a temporary halt to negotiations so that Whakatōhea hapū be given a chance to vote on how our iwi should proceed.
At the time, the Trust welcomed the chance to test the pulse of our people through this vote. The results of the vote can be found here. View Here »