February 26, 2019
Whakatōhea claim delay a chance for reconciliation
The Whakatohea Pre Settlement Claims Trust has won support to continue the settlement talks in a special vote recommended by the Waitangi Tribunal, but there was also a large minority asking for the historic claims to be heard.
Negotiator Maui Hudson says Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has agreed to consider doing both, with a historical inquiry running alongside or even after the settlement process.
He says because of Whakatōhea’s unique circumstances, including its rejection of a settlement offered in the 1990s, reconciliation needs to be built into the process, as well as regenerating culture and promoting development.
"Those things are built off us coming together as an iwi and being happy with the direction put in front of us and this is really our chance to reengage people who haven't really bothered. They stay engaged with their whanau, they might stay engaged with their marse, but they don't really get involved in iwi affairs, This will allow us to do that,"Mr Hudson says.
Whakatōhea is pursuing economic development independent of the settlement, but getting the $100 million settlement completed would give it greater clout on matters like employment and education.
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