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Source: Atawhai Creative

Ōpōtiki 29 September 2022:  Te Whakatōhea, will soon be voting on whether to receive a $100m+ settlement package 26 years after receiving their first settlement offer from the Crown.

Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust Chair, Graeme Riesterer says that the time is now for Whakatōhea whānau to have their say and decide on the future of the Iwi.

“It has taken 5 years to get from the signing of an Agreement in Principle in 2017, to the initialling of a Deed of Settlement in 2021, and now we are giving our whānau the chance to accept the Settlement package that has been negotiated with the Crown” says Graeme.

Mr Riesterer goes on to say that “this is an significant decision for Whakatōhea, as it will be the first time that a Settlement offer has been taken out to Whakatōhea whānau to vote on. Te Whakatōhea have had three votes since 2016, all confirming the desire of the majority to continue with settlement. Now they finally get their chance”.

The initial settlement package, valued at $40m, was rejected by the Iwi in 1996 and Whakatōhea has waited till now for the opportunity to vote on a settlement package.

“It has been a long journey for our people, and not without its challenges and many have been lost along the way. The time has come to focus on the future and move forward together. The settlement will set the platform to provide for our whānau and help shape the future of our Iwi” says Graeme.

About the Whakatōhea PreSettlement Claims Trust (WPCT)

Whakatōhea is located in the eastern Bay of Plenty region centred around Ōpōtiki, with its rohe extending eastwards from Ohiwa Harbour to Opape along the coastline, and inland to Matawai.

The Whakatōhea PreSettlement Claims Trust is the entity chosen by Whakatōhea to advance negotiations with the Crown for a Settlement to address historical raupatu claims.