August 14, 2017
Whakatohea mandate comes under scrutiny
The Government intends to sign an agreement in principal this week to settle Whakatohea claims, despite elements in the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi securing an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing on the mandate.
The tribunal's deputy chair, Judge Pat Savage, says while the Whakatohea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust Board won 91 percent of the votes last year to negotiate a settlement, since then there have been 13 applications for urgency.
Given that opposition, the problems faced by claimant hapu in invoking the withdrawal mechanism, and the question of whether Te Upokorehe should be included in the settlement, an urgent hearing was needed.
Welcoming Judge Savage's decision, Ngati Tama Haua chair Peter Selwyn says his Opotiki-based hapu had looked closely at the tribunal's finding on the Ngapuhi mandate that hapu sovereignty had not been extinguished by signing the Treaty of Waitangi.
"We've advocated before that ruling and continued to after that ruling that the hapu really have the sovereignty and the mana motuhake to settle our own claims," Mr Selwyn says.
The urgent hearing could be held as soon as December.
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