Historical Account Nearly Complete

The preparation of the historical account of Ngāti Whātua as an Iwi is now 90 per cent complete. The draft has been completed by historian, David Armstrong, who has extensive experience in the preparation of historical accounts for treaty claims.

The historical account aligns the position of Ngāti Whātua as an Iwi alongside other claims and settlements including Te Roroa, Te Uri O Hau, Kaipara ki te Tonga, and Orākei. It places an emphasis on what we all hold in common and outlines the respective roles of the Iwi and hapu claims. The historical account is the start of some initial discussions and debate that will allow informed deliberations for the Iwi, and the issues to then be followed up with the Crown.

Defining the Process

Early in October, Iwi negotiators met with the Minister for Treaty Negotiations, Hon. Chris Finlayson. The discussions were useful and a brief was provided of the Rūnanga position on the Iwi-wide claim and its importance. We also outlined where the proposal prepared by Sir Douglas Graham fell short. As well as identifying the specific areas that were inadequate, the brief provided the Minister with information about the importance of Ngāti Whātua as an Iwi and as mana whenua. It drew attention to the distinct and different characteristics of the Iwi claim in particular, and suggested the inclusion of innovative forms of redress in areas dovetailing into government policies including social, heath, housing, education and taonga preservation.

The brief also covered how the Iwi claim had been misunderstood, particularly in the marginalisation of Ngāti Whātua and the breakdown of the tribal structure, and consequent impact on tino rangatiratanga, economic development, social issues, urbanisation and loss of traditional practices. It was not simply a matter of redressing land loss.

Treaty claims spokesman, Tame Te Rangi, says the focus of the treaty claim is forward thinking, considering what the claimants want their relationships to be after settlement.

"There are also some key places of importance where we want to enhance Iwi relationships and engagement; places such as the Kaipara Harbour and the issues surrounding the volcanic cones in Tāmaki, as well as forests in the claim's area of interest."

Sites of Significance

A key part of the treaty claim is gathering accurate information about sites of significance across the rohe.

The Sites of Significance is essentially the key component of a Geographic Information System [GIS] that the project is using.

GIS - Mapping Tasks

A contracted mapping expert will design a Sites of Significance spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will store information about the Sites of Significance, and will include:

  • Name of the site
  • Type of site (urupa, wahi tapu, pa, mahinga kai)
  • Geographic location of the site
  • Redress action being sought (where known)
  • Legal description of the site; and,
  • The narrative associated with the site.

The mapping contractor and a historian in conjunction with the Rūnanga, will run a series of workshops within Ngāti Whātua to collate the required information.

Ideally this information will be recorded in digital form to enable the production of a Sites of Significance Mapbook.

Taoho Patuawa, the negotiator for the Northern Wairoa takiwa, and James Barrett, negotiator for the Whangarei takiwa will be contacting people to begin this process throughout these two takiwa. Otamatea, Kaipara and Orākei takiwa will follow.

Treaty Claims spokesman, Tame Te Rangi, says it is important that people talk about the stories and history their whanau know about.

Mapping the Rohe

An important part of the treaty claim process is the ability to have accurate maps of the rohe that can outline all the elements that are important to the Iwi; from resources including forests and coastal areas, to urban areas and our own areas of cultural importance including sites of significance.

A GIS software system has been set up at the Rūnanga office and staff are being trained in its use in order for the Iwi to develop this valuable resource. The first exercise that will be carried out on the GIS system will be the collating of Crown Assets in the claim area of interest. It will also involve the collating of information for the four groups: Te Roroa, Te Uri o Hau, Kaipara ki te Tonga and Orākei.

The Crown assets include the current Department of Conservation estate, pockets of Crown-owned land, including local purpose reserves and marginal strips of land, coast and waterways.


We would like to encourage everyone to ensure they and their whanau are registered beneficiaries on the Iwi role.

An application can be downloaded at www.ngatiwhatua.iwi.nz or can be posted to you by ringing the Ngāti Whātua Rūnanga office 0800 642 849 (0800 NgatiW) or email: runanga [at] ngatiwhatua [dot] iwi [dot] nz


The negotiating team elected at hui across the rohe earlier this year:
  • Trustee and Negotiating Body Chair: Te Ramaroa Tito
  • Orākei takiwa: Ngaio Kemp
  • Otamatea takiwa: Thomas de Thierry
  • Whangarei takiwa: James Barrett,
  • Northern Wairoa takiwa: Taoho Patuawa.
Ngāti Whātua Iwi and associated hapu and marae websites of interest:

"We are looking for the genuine Ngāti Whātua stories and want to avoid versions of stories that may have been published by others that may or may not be accurate or appropriate." treaty Claims spokesman, Tame Te Rangi