June 05, 2019
Waitangi Tribunal to hear Whakatōhea claims
The Waitangi Tribunal will hold a district inquiry into the historical grievances of Whakatōhea, despite a $100 million settlement offer being on the table.
It follows an inquiry into the mandate given to the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board-based Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Trust to negotiate the settlement, which the tribunal found was a case of the crown prioritising its objective to conclude all settlements by 2020 rather than following a process that was fair to the iwi.
A vote last year resulted in a narrow majority supporting the trust continuing to negotiate a settlement with the Crown and a significant minority voting for a Waitangi Tribunal inquiry.
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little flagged the possibility of talks continuing while the tribunal conducted an inquiry, but no decision has been announced yet.
Ngāti Ira claimant Te Ringahuia Hata says the tribunal’s decision is a win for hapū, who feel it is a claimant's right to have an inquiry before negotiations start.