December 02, 2022
Whakatohea votes 67% to ratify settlement
Te Whakatohea members have voted to ratify their $100 million settlement of historic treaty claims by a two thirds margin.
Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust chair Graeme Riesterer says there was a 35 percent turnout, with 67 percent of those who voited and five out of six hapu supporting the settlement.
That’s the highest turnout to date in what has been a long and contentious process within the Opotiki-based iwi.
Mr Riesterer says it has been a long journey from the first petition to the Crown in 1887 over the invasion and raupatu of Whakatohea land 135 years ago.
Settlement negotiations started 30 years ago but the initial offer was rejected, leading to a 20 year hiatus.
Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board chair Robert Edwards says there is still a lot of hara and mamae to address from both the raupatu and the settlement process itself, so it’s important the iwi unites to forge a path forward.
The ratification clears the way for the crown to sign the deed of settlement.