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Ngātiwai Trust Board Mandate not fit for purpose

Ngātiwai Trust Board Mandate not fit for purpose

The Ngātiwai Mandate Inquiry Report was released publicly on 31 October 2017, 4pm. It was the outcome of an urgent inquiry into 10 claimant groups challenging the Crown’s recognition of the Ngātiwai Trust Board (“NTB”) Deed of Mandate to negotiate and settle Ngatiwai’s historical Treaty grievances.

The panel appointed to hear the claims was comprised of Judge Sarah Reeves (presiding officer), Dr Angela Bellara, Dr Rawinia Higgins, and Dr Hauata Palmer. Almost a year later the Waitangi Tribunal have released their findings and we are now in a position to move forward. “We welcome the findings of the Tribunal Report, it is heartening to see this judicial body has given equitable weighting to tikanga as it did to “the law” in its findings and recommendations.

We can now work constructively in a way that upholds and enhances our hapū and whanau rangatiratanga, mana whenua, and mana moana” says claimant Mylie George of Ngatiwai ki Whangaruru.

The Tribunal have found in favour of the claimants that the Crown has breached its treaty obligations and not acted in good faith in recognising the NTB mandate. In its report the Tribunal identified a number of key flaws:

The process of determining the claimant definition was unsatisfactory and incomplete at the time of mandate and was a contributing factor in the breakdown of whanau and hapū relationships within Ngātiwai;

The Deed of Mandate does not include mechanisms for individual hapu to consent to the mandate, nor to withdraw from it; empowers an entity, the Ngātiwai Trust Board, that as presently structured is ‘not fit for purpose’ to represent hapū named in the Deed of Mandate, including shared hapu; and

The proposed supporting structures or advisory bodies do not provide for meaningful representation of hapū.

In light of the findings and recommendations of the Tribunal, Ngātiwai ki Whangaruru claimants reaffirm their collective desire to pause the mandating process in order to regroup and discuss our next steps and look to rebuilding our relationships with each other.

“We want to move ahead in a direction that upholds our Ngātiwaitanga at its core with integrity, respect, and transparency. We must work together with full participation and consent of claimants, whanau and hapū. Only then will we be able to work to achieve an inclusive settlement that respects and upholds Hapū Rangatiratanga and recognises our tribal distinction and identity as a coastal people.”

Carmen Hetaraka, Ngātiwai ki Whangaruru

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