December 13, 2021
Tribunal upset at Whakatōhea gag
The Waitangi Tribunal says the crown is not playing fair in blocking it from making recommendations on Whakatōhea’s historic claims.
The tribunal today released a priority report on the Whakatōhea Settlement Process, which allows it to keep looking into the claims even after the Ōpōtiki-based iwi reaches a settlement.
It says a failed attempt to settle the claims in the 1990s left the iwi divided.
When negotiations resumed 20 years later, some hapū lodged claims against the mandate of the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust.
The tribunal says the crown’s decision to offer a parallel process after a close second vote on the mandate was fair and reasonable, but excluding the possibility of recommendations wasn’t and could undermine a settlement.
It also wants changes in the mechanism by which hapū can withdraw from the deed of mandate to reflect its finding that decision-making within Whakatōhea is traditionally hapū-driven.