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Urgent Hearing Into The Whakatohea Mandate Filed

An application has been filed today, by Tuariki John Delamere and Te Ringahuia Hata before the Waitangi Tribunal to seek an urgent hearing into the Crown’s rationale for resuming negotiations with the Whakatohea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust.

“Yet again, Minister Little is being disingenuous and misleading my iwi by interpreting the 2018 Whakatohea Vote results as too much support for the Trust for the Crown to walk away using this as the rationale for resuming negotiations with the Trust”

“Our key concerns are that the Crown have selectively interpreted the results to justify pressing on with negotiations with an entity the majority of Whakatohea do not support; the Crown have not engaged with any of the claimants since 2018 to fix up the issues reported on by the Wai 2662 Tribunal; and the Crown have failed abysmally in honouring their relationships with the hapu of Whakatohea” says Te Ringahuia Hata.

“In fact, opposition to the Mandate has increased since 2018. Ngati Ruatakena hapu have also withdrawn their raupatu claim and mandate from the Pre-settlement Trust so they can prosecute their claim in the Whakatohea District Inquiry. They are out. We now have 5 out of 6 hapu and 29 out of 31 claimants of Whakatohea totally opposed to direct negotiations. I seriously question whether the Minister can count, unless he isn’t receiving accurate information”

Tuariki John Delamere, former Member of Parliament for NZ First from 1996 to 1999 was a member of cabinet for the duration of his term. He has also filed alongside Ms Hata to challenge the Crown’s mandate to resume negotiations despite increased opposition since 2018.

“The statements made by Minister Little that the vote results in 2018 ‘showed strong support’ for the WPSCT are tantamount to treating Whakatohea as no more than a bunch of uneducated and illiterate natives who should do as they are told.” says Mr Delamere.

“It’s totally inappropriate for the Whakatohea to bow down to the political objective of the Crown and rush a settlement process whilst we there is a full Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry going on. I totally support another urgent inquiry into the Crown’s breach of Te Tiriti and the ongoing marginalisation of hapu claimants because the WPSCT has no mandate to continue negotiations on all our behalves”

In 2018, the Wai 2662 Waitangi Tribunal found that the Crown’s recognition of the WPSCT mandate was pre-determined, not fair, reasonable nor made in good faith and that the Crown prioritised its political objective of concluding a settlement over a fair process for Whakatohea.

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