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Te Rūnanganui O Ngāti Hikairo

Te Rūnanganui O Ngāti Hikairo


At a meeting with the Ngāti Hikairo Claims Team on 4 August 2017, the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS) advised that the Crown plans to sign a draft Agreement in Principle with Ngāti Maniapoto on Tuesday 15 August 2017 covering broad matters such as relationship redress, river/waterways issues and statutory recognition. Kāwhia Harbour is not included in this draft.

Moka Apiti, Chairperson of Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo said the practice of subsuming Ngāti Hikairo within Waikato Tainui or Ngāti Maniapoto for purposes of dealing with the Crown is not acceptable and needs to stop. He said the meeting with OTS highlighted the need for further development of their understanding of Ngāti Hikairo’s historical claims as an independent iwi of Te Rohe Pōtae. “We operate as an iwi in our own right and have done so since before 1885. That needs to be understood by the Crown as we are clear that we will determine the future of Ngāti Hikairo not others” said Mr Apiti.

The Rūnanganui has requested a meeting with the Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations to ensure that our fundamental claims position is well understood by the Crown.”

Prior to the draft Agreement in Principle being signed with Ngāti Maniapoto, the Minister will have received a report from OTS that will detail Ngāti Hikairo’s position as set out in our written correspondence to the Minister. There will be no final decisions made by the Crown regarding Ngāti Hikairo’s interests until after the central government election. The Crown has removed Kāwhia from a Maniapoto-wide settlement and instead are focusing on other benefits.

Mr Apiti said there is more work to do regarding shared interests with Ngāti Maniapoto and OTS has agreed to provide with further information that will help contextualise these discussions as well as move them forward. He said “I am looking forward to making progress on both our claims and our eventual movement into a post-settlement environment whereby Ngāti Hikairo can regain its capacity to exercise our tino rangatiratanga for the benefit of our people and for those communities in which we live.”

A further meeting with OTS is to be organised for both parties to progress Hikairo claims to the next stage.

Moka Apiti


14 August 2017


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