Treaty Claim Gathers Momentum

The first months of 2009 have seen a significant increase in activity for Ngāti Whātua's iwi-wide treaty claim.

Just before Christmas, a Deed of Mandate was signed with the crown.

Work plans are now being finalised to complete the required work in time to enter negotiation in detail in the latter half of 2009.

This will include the contracting of specialists to document historical accounts, and the establishment of teams to identify matters for cultural and commercial redress.

Ngāti Whātua leaders and advisors are preparing a programme of work to ensure the treaty claim will progress rapidly this year.

Rūnanga representatives also attended a meeting in early January with the new Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Chris Finlayson, and the Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples , Associate Minister of Maori Affairs, Georgina Te Heu Heu, and a number of government officials.

The next step for the treaty claim is for Ngāti Whātua iwi beneficiaries to elect a team of negotiators.

Two information hui about the negotiation process have been held in Whangarei and at Omaha marae.

Hui to vote for a negotiator for each takiwa will be held on Monday 30 March at Orākei marae (Orākei taikiwa) Tuesday 31 March at Tirarau marae (Whangarei takiwa), Wednesday April 1 at Puatahi marae (South Kaipara takiwa) and Monday 6 April at Omaha marae (Otumatea takiwa).

Information packs setting out the terms of reference for the Negotiating Body and guidance on the skills and attributes of a successful negotiator can be obtained by contacting the Information Officer at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua, PO Box 1784, Whangarei, 09 470 0720 or at runanga [at] ngatiwhatua [dot] iwi [dot] nz

The Information Officer can also provide information on how to become a registered member of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua. Further information can also be found on the website, www.ngatiwhatua.iwi.nz