Negotiations with the Crown to commence

Huihuia te whakaaro kia kotahi. Paiheretia ki te rangimaarie. Korowaitia ki te aroha.

On Monday 14 December 2020 a signing ceremony took place between Waikato-Tainui Negotiator Rahui Papa, and the Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little, to confirm the Waikato-Tainui terms of negotiation. This marks an important step in our settlement journey, allowing for formal negotiations with the Crown to commence early next year on the outstanding parts of Wai 30 and our remaining claims.

The signing of the terms of negotiation follows on from communications received in June this year, in which Minister Little and Minister of Crown Negotiations Kelvin Davis formally recognised Rahui Papa’s mandate as the Waikato-Tainui Negotiator for this settlement process. Engaging in the Crown’s formal mandating process saw a number of consultation hui held throughout Aotearoa over the past two years, offering opportunities for our whaanau, marae and hapuu to be involved and provide input into the settlement process. Much like the Waikato-Tainui river settlement, some of these negotiations are part of our original claim and we will be seeking specific redress for the West Coast Harbours and some land blocks such as Maioro/Waiuku and East Wairoa. The mandate also includes a number of remaining claims that have whakapapa to a Waikato tupuna and fall within our area of interest. This is one of the first settlements to include negotiations for a harbour and we anticipate that our progress will be watched closely by our whaanau through te ao Maaori and indeed all of Aotearoa.

West Coast Harbours Negotiation Team 

As the terms of negotiation document has been signed, the West Coast Harbours Negotiation Team (the Negotiation Team) will come into effect. The Negotiation Team will comprise seven representatives: four from each of the West Coast Harbours (Whaingaroa, Aotea, Kaawhia and Manukau), two from Oati and one from Te Whakakitenga o Waikato. We have so far confirmed three seats: Rahui Papa as Te Whakakitenga o Waikato representative, and representatives from Ngaati Te Wehi and Ngaati Mahuta by virtue of their longstanding Oati relationships.

We will continue with the Negotiation Team as it stands and the opportunity for the harbours whaanau to appoint their members will remain open until whaanau have run their appointment processes and are ready to elect their respective representatives. The appointment of these representatives is at the discretion of the harbours whaanau, marae and hapuu, although Rahui Papa and the Settlement and Protection Team are available to provide administrative assistance if required.

Next Steps 

Formal negotiations will commence early next year along with the establishment of the Negotiation Team. While the elected representation on the Negotiation Team will allow for direct input from whaanau, marae and hapuu, we want to ensure there are other opportunities for involvement and contribution from our whaanau. A number of waananga will be held throughout each harbour and a central waananga in Waikato to provide whaanau the opportunity to share what it is important to them, and co-design aspirations for the settlement of the Waikato-Tainui Remaining Claims. More information regarding the venue and dates of these waananga will be shared early in the new year via the tribal Facebook page.

Naa reira, teenei te mihi o te Kirihimete ki ngaa whaanau puta noa. Have a safe and happy holiday with your whaanau. If you have any paatai or would like to arrange a time to meet to discuss this paanui please contact Jessica Hita, Settlement Protection & Claims Advisor on (07) 858 0400, or by email; jessica.hita@tainui.co.nz

He waka kootuitui i te tangata.
Piki ake, kake ake ki te tau o te waka.
Waahia ngaa ngaru o te waa kia maamaa te hoe whakamua.
Pupurutia te kakau o te hoe.
Paimaarire.

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