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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust

ŌPŌTIKI; Tuesday 14th July 2020: The Whakatōhea Settlement negotiations are close to completion and a key factor in getting to this stage has been the Crown’s decision to allow a Waitangi Tribunal hearing to continue once the Settlement is concluded.  

Typically, a Settlement removes the jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal and the opportunity for claimants to have their Wai claims heard. However, Whakatōhea is in a unique situation with the Tribunal initiating the North-Eastern Bay of Plenty District Inquiry, and the Crown agreeing it will allow Whakatōhea to recount and record their experiences.

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon Andrew Little, is due to visit Ōpōtiki for the first time since his decision to resume negotiations last year. Minister Little will meet with senior Whakatōhea iwi and hapū leaders to discuss the Settlement negotiations and progress towards the initialling of a Deed of Settlement later this year. It is also understood that Minister Little will provide some context on his decision to allow both processes to continue.

Maui Hudson, Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust (WPCT) Negotiator is looking forward to the visit and the chance to hear directly from the Minister about the Crowns commitment to completing the Whakatōhea Settlement.

“It will be interesting to hear his reasons for supporting both processes, but ultimately it is a win win for Whakatōhea. Some of our whānau have had almost 30 years of negotiations with the Crown, they will see ratification occur in the next year, hopefully with a positive outcome that will enable the healing to start, and the opportunity to create a prosperous future for our Whakatōhea whānau. For our whānau who wanted a Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry, they now get to tell their stories and this precious kōrero will be woven forever into our Whakatōhea History.  All of Whakatōhea will get the benefits of both processes”.

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

MIL OSI