Te Papa o Karewa Update

Working with Otorohanga District Council, Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo supports the careful management of our whenua and rakau tapu. In consultation, we have decided that emergency pruning may no longer be necessary to ensure the immediate survival of Te Papa o Karewa. Investigations are currently underway to explore other options to save the tree for future generations. For all parties, long-term preservation is the priority.

The Otorohanga District Council has been in direct contact with the runanga about this matter, as there is a long-standing agreement under the Ngati Hikairo Heritage Management Plan 2010 that all  communications with regard to anything culturally or historically significant within Kawhia, are directed to the runanga’s  Resource Management Committee.

Te Papa o Karewa

Concerns regarding changes to the position and safety around the sacred pohutukawa Te Papa o Karewa have been conveyed to Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo. Today the Otorohanga District Council provided us with an arborist’s assessment, within the assessment it was advised that some of the limbs of the tree would need to be pruned.
Kaumatua have been consulted and Kingi Tuheitia. At this time we are waiting for the Otorohanga District Council to confirm a date for the prunning and then Ngati Hikairo representatives will be arranged to be present during that time. Arrangements for the storage of the limbs are currently being organised.

2x Job Opportunities – Deadline extended

Ngati Hikairo job opportunitiesTe Rūnanganui ō Ngāti Hikairo is calling on those who want to make a difference and deliver on important project outcomes.  If you’re seeking a new challenge and want to have a meaningful impact at iwi and community level – then we currently have two exciting opportunities that may be right for you.


Te Runanganui ō Ngāti Hikairo is currently in the process of working through options for the negotiation of  the iwi’s treaty settlements which includes the Takutai Moana (Marine and Coastal Area) Act 2011 (MACA). Te Runanganui ō Ngāti Hikairo have been granted the right to be heard in the High Court  and will be building a legal case relating to mana whenua and mana moana for these court  proceedings. 

The Roles

The Project Manager will manage the Takutai Moana Project to enable Te Rūnanganui ō Ngāti Hikairo  to present their evidence in relation to the Takutai Moana (Marine and Coastal Area) proceedings to  the High Court; and to ensure that the Runanga meets their funding and reporting obligations under  the Te Arawhiti funding agreement. 

Project Manager Job Description

The Iwi Researcher will collaborate with whanau, hapū and iwi experts and professional research experts to compile community-based knowledge of the Ngāti Hikairo history and ongoing occupation of the Takutai Moana. This knowledge will contribute to the evidence alongside of the Historian Research to the proceedings to the High Court.

Iwi Researcher Job Description

Your Application

To apply please send your CV and cover letter to Pipi Barton, Secretary, Te Rūnanganui ō Ngāti Hikairo


or contact Susan Turner, Interim Chair, Te Rūnanganui ō Ngāti Hikairo, 0273569988 for more details.

Application Deadline: 5pm Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Christmas Update

Tena Koutou Whanau

Te Runanganui o Hikairo are providing you with a final update for 2020 and taking the opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It has been a difficult year for the Runanga and we are sure for many of you as well. Unexpected events like COVID 19 – and changes to the committee and Claims Team – have significantly impacted on the mahi we have been able to do. However the Treaty Claims remain an important kaupapa and key priority. This work has now been ongoing for over a decade. This year, with the resignation of different Claims Team members and the Runanga Chair, we have had to pick up where they left off.

In the past three months, we have achieved the following:

⦁ Rapidly sourced the information required to continue the treaty claims work – as much of the this was held by the Treaty Claims team in terms of institutional and historical knowledge
⦁Concluded consultation with Ngati Maniapoto on issues such as shared whakapapa and where they were at with their settlement. As outlined previously, Ngati Hikairo was not included in the final settlement.
⦁ Commenced the comprehensive development of the two remaining settlement options. Including getting specific details on the Waikato Tainui Oati – which has not yet been provided – and further investigating the option of ‘going alone’ in terms of seeking legal opinion and precedents.
⦁ Set a target for March 2021 to undertake iwi consultation – this being highly dependent on progress being made with Waikato Tainui. If all goes well, we should have the options to you in detail by February 2021.
⦁ Reestablished the relationship with Te Arawhiti – the Office for Maori Crown Relations
⦁ Commenced the development of an iwi registration and voting system to enable the consultation to occur.
⦁ Enhanced the skillset of the Runanga to enable future negotiations and claims management
⦁ Sourced new lawyers following the resignation of Takutai Moana Lawyers. The law firm of Atkins Holm Majurey is now engaged to progress our High Court proceedings.
⦁ Prepared for the recruitment of the Project Manager and Community Researcher roles – as well as engaging a Historian – for the Takutai Moana Project to enable Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo to present their evidence in relation to the Takutai Moana (Marine and Coastal Area) proceedings to the High Court. These positions will soon be advertised through our website and Facebook page.
⦁ Commenced the development of a Claims Strategy – as it is more than just developing options or negotiations. To get the right results for the iwi we want a careful, informed strategy and a tactical approach.

In addition to the above we have provided a “holding reply” that has set out our initials concerns to the Waitangi Tribunal regarding the Tribunal’s embargoed pre-publication Part VI, for the Wai 898 – Te Rohe Pōtae District Inquiry . We are seeking further legal advice on this report as there was no consultation with Te Runanganui o Hikairo prior to this report’s release. We expect this advice by mid to late January 2021.

While it may appear that the Runanga is lagging, it is not. We have been hard at work achieving positive results for the iwi in the short time we have been together. It is also important to understand that we have had to pick up the work from where the previous Claims Team left the project – and while we have tried to not lose momentum – we have spent a considerable amount of time trying to make sense of our current position. And we are now positive about the way forward.

Furthermore, the Runanga has not been working alone, we have looked across our whanau and are amazed at the talent we have amongst our people. We have reached out to them to assist us – and they have answered the call. While Waikato Tainui are resourced well to do their mahi, we have relied on our own taonga. We are confident this will match any Crown or Iwi. Our tupuna have shown that to us and we are following their path.

As the year ends, Te Runanganui o Hikairo wish you a wonderful Christmas and new year and that all of whanau stay safe during these holidays.

Nga Mihi Nui


Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo members & whanau at our first kanohi-ki-te-kanohi since covid-19. Hamilton - 12 December 2020.Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo members & whanau at our first kanohi ki te kanohi planning hui since Covid-19. Hamilton – 12.12.20

Kia Ora Whanau
As many of you will be aware, the Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo Claims Team was responsible for leading our Treaty of Waitangi claims for over 10 years. This year the Claims Team resigned. However, we want to reassure Ngati Hikairo that the current members of the Runanga are still working towards the timely settlement of our claims.

On 3 December, Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo issued a panui providing an update on the Treaty Claims and the next steps moving forward.

There are two options to consider – either settling our outstanding claims through Waikato Tainui or settling these claims on our own behalf. It will be the iwi of Ngati Hikairo that will decide which option is preferred.

Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo is currently working to finalise the details of the two options – and will then undertake iwi consultation through a series of hui. We are seeking to do this in March 2021. The development of an appropriate registration and voting system is currently underway.

Prior to any consultation with Ngati Hikairo iwi there are further details that need to be worked through:

Waikato Tainui Oati

At present we are working to establish what an Oati (partnership) agreement with Waikato Tainui would look like. The Claims Team had been working on this for the past two years – and we are continuing to progress this work.

It is important to clarify that the Terms of Negotiation Agreement Waikato Tainui signed this week, on Monday 14 December, relates only to those claims included under the Waikato Tainui Remaining Claims mandate. Ngati Hikairo is not included in this negotiation agreement at this time.

Te Arawhiti (Office for Māori Crown Relations) have however advised Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo that the current Waikato Tainui and Crown Negotiations will take some time to complete. This means that – if the iwi decides that the Waikato Tainui option is preferred – the Negotiation Agreement can still be amended to include Ngati Hikairo.

Ngati Hikairo settling its own claims

This second option was not fully explored by the previous Claims Team, but work is now underway to develop it further. It is important that we can explain to whanau what this option means – including the potential benefits and risks. Advice and information is currently being sought from legal advisors and Te Arawhiti. Independent research is also being carried out.

So I trust that you can see the hard work Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo have undertaken to stabilise this programme of work so that we can achieve substantial results for our iwi.

We will ensure that as we progress through our plan that we will inform you of developments. If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at ngatihikairoiwi@gmail.com

Nga mihi, Susan Turner (Interim Chair)



Proceedings at Matakitaki


Tena koutou e te Iwi o Ngati Hikairo

Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo are calling a zoom hui tonight (Thursday 10 December 2020) at 7pm to whakarite the process – preparing for our part in tomorrow’s proceedings at Matakitaki. We apologise for the short notice – and that we cannot come together kanohi ki te kanohi to whitiwhitikorero. However we want to ensure that we are  able to maintain the mana motuhake o Ngati Hikairo through kotahitanga. To join the hui tonight click on the link below:

Join Zoom Meeting https://northtec.zoom.us/j/93699629601

Please see the outline below of the proceedings at Matakitaki on Friday.

The Blessing of the Pou at Mātakitaki

When: 11am Friday 11 December 2020

Te Mātakitaki i te hara i a Te Haranui

This event commemorates a major cataclysmic event in the history of Ngāti Hikairo. The events at Mātakitaki  were triggered by the involvement of Ngāti Hikairo in the death of Te Haranui which then lead to retribution being sought by Ngā Puhi. The ensuing battle had a major and lasting effect on Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Apakura, Maniapoto, Waikato and others.

This commemorative event is in remembrance of all the tūpuna who were involved in or affected by the tragedy at Mātakitaki in 1822.

A major commemoration will take place for the bicentennial in 2022.

At Mātakitaki:

Safety arrangements will be in place with Māori Warden Traffic Management and St Johns on site. Arrangements have also been made for Covid-19 contact tracing, parking, shelter and portaloo toilets. Some seating will be available. Parking for the King, Dignitaries from Council, and Ngāpuhi will be given a precedence.

Outline of proceedings:

  • People will gather at the site.
  • The King will arrive just before 11am. A karanga will commence led by Waikato.
  • Ngāti Hikairo will  karanga. Then, as the King and his entourage gather at the waharoa, Ngati Hikairo will give brief welcome and explain the kaupapa.
  • Ngāti Hikairo will karanga. And Kaumātua Te Papi Cunningham (Ngati Hikairo) will lead the karakia for the King to unveil the waharoa. Taonga pūoro will sound through the ceremony.
  • Ngāti Hikairo will karanga.  Matua Te Papi will  ‘waerea’ the rōpū through the waharoa to the first pou.
  • Waikato will lead the karanga and karakia for the unveiling of the first pou – and waerea to the second pou.
  • Ngāpuhi will lead the karanga and karakia for the unveiling of the second pou – and waerea to the third
  • Maniapoto will lead the karanga and karakia for the unveiling of the third pou.
  • The King’s Tariao will lead the Paimārire to close this part of our proceedings –  and the rōpū will make its
    way back to the waharoa.
  • At the waharoa, the King, his entourage, dignitaries, tohunga,  and Ngāphui will be called to the Kohatu
    Whakamaumaharatanga which displays the words gifted by Te Arikinui Te Atairangaikaahu commemorating the event here in 1822.
  • Following a brief karakia which will be led by Purekireki Marae, the tohunga whakairo will be available to media and others to give some insights into the carvings.
  • Everyone is invited to Pūrekireki Marae for a powhiri and to share a kaihākari .

December Update

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Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo Executive Committee would like to provide an update on the membership of the committee, the next Annual General Meeting and the Treaty Claims.

Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo Membership

The current Executive Committee Members are as follows:

Susan Turner (Interim Chair)

Pipi Barton (Secretary)

Jane Anderson (Committee Member)

Burton Cunningham (Co-opted Committee Member)

Tirohanga Kawhia Johnson (Co-opted Committee Member)

Vinnie Daniels (Committee Member)

Gina Ngarongo (Committee Member)

Hano Ormsby (Committee Member)

Amiria Ratu (Committee Member)

Gareth Seymour (Committee Member)

Tiriata Thorne Carkeek (Committee Member)

Moka Apiti, Rick Tai and Brendon Green resigned during 2020.   We wish to thank these whanau for their contribution to the Runanga.  Tony Spelman remains on the committee but is currently on a leave of absence due to recent whanau bereavement.  It is anticipated that he will return to the committee when he is ready to resume his participation.  

It was essential that the Executive Committee increased the member numbers to ensure that we were compliant with the constitutional obligations, particularly on procedural issues such as committee quorums.   To mitigate these risks, the Executive Committee approved the additional Executive Committee members as co-opted members for the duration of this governance term.  These co-opted members are Burton Cunningham and Tirohanga Gilmore and we welcome them to our Runanga.

The above members will remain on the Executive Committee until such time as the next Annual General Meeting.  

Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo Annual General Meeting

At the October hui in Kawhia, the Executive Committee advised that the Annual General Meeting that was due to be held in October/November2020 would be deferred due to the impacts of COVID 19.  Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo will seek to hold the next Annual General Meeting in late February 2021.  

Treaty Claims

The next steps of the Treaty Claims were for Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo to undertake a consultation process with Ngati Hikairo iwi on the proposed options for settling our Treaty Claims.   The proposed options that were being put to the whanau during the previous Claims Project Team were:

  • Ngati Maniapoto
  • Waikato Tainui
  • Ngati Hikairo settling its own claims

The impacts of COVID 19 has significantly delayed any progression on these options.  In fact, given that there has been delays, the Ngati Maniapoto option is no longer an option as their settlement is due to be finalised in December 2020.  

In addition, in all these options, there are significant issues that need to be clarified and it will be imperative that we have this information prior to putting these options to whanau.  We are currently working through the remaining options which include:

Waikato Tainui Oati – at present we do not have the detail regarding the Oati.  We are seeking to hold a meeting in December 2020.  It will be important that we finalise what this may include prior to any consultation with whanau. 

Ngati Hikairo settling its own claims – we are currently seeking options and ascertaining the risks of Ngati Hikairo settling its own claims.  It is important that we can explain what this means to whanau.   

Iwi Consultation on options – we need to establish a robust voting system which means that there has been a comprehensive iwi membership system.  The iwi registration and voting system is under development and we anticipate it will be completed by the end of December 2020.   

If any whanau have questions or queries then please do not hesitate to contact the interim Chair Susan Turner or Pipi Barton at ngatihikairoiwi@gmail.com.  

Nga Mihi

Susan Turner

Interim Chair


Hui with Te Arawhiti

Members of the Executive Committee were able to meet with staff from Te Arawhiti (formerly known as the Office of Treaty Settlements) last week in Wellington.

The basis of the meeting was:
  • For Te Arawhiti to provide clarification around progress of Ngāti Hikairo claims
  • For Te Runanganui of Ngāti Hikairo to seek further information regarding the expectations and process
  • To update Te Arawhiti on Ngāti Hikairo’s progress and plans
Outcome of the hui:
  • Te Arawhiti to provide clarification around what being involved in the Ngāti Maniapoto settlement will mean for Ngāti Hikairo by encouraging Ngāti Maniapoto to respond to our request for more details.
  • Te Arawhiti to provide clarification around what being involved in the Wai 30 (Waikato Tainui settlement) will mean for Ngāti Hikairo by encouraging Waikato Tainui to respond to our request for more details.
  • To meet with Ngāti Maniapoto to discuss and negotiate the details of our request for more detailed information. Having this information freely available will enable Ngati Hikairo to make an informed decision regarding our future direction.
  • To meet with Waikato Tainui to discuss and negotiate the details of our request for more detailed information. Having this information freely available will enable Ngāti Hikairo to make an informed decision regarding our future direction.

Resignation of Chair

Last month, Moka Apiti informed Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo of his decision to resign from as Chair of Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo and as Claims Manager.  His leadership and expertise will be missed.

Please read his statement below:

E te Iwi, tēnā koutou

Last Friday, 25 September, I informed Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo of my decision to resign from all positions associated with Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo, effective immediately.

It has been an honour to serve our iwi across all of these roles. It has been a privilege to work with many of our iwi members and to continue the legacy of mahi handed down from our koroheke and our ruruhi. While it has been extremely rewarding, it has also had its’ many challenges along the way. I am proud of the work that we have achieved during my time with the Rūnanga while constantly continuing to navigate these challenges. I want to thank all those who have supported me during my tenure especially Hano Ormsby and Tony Spelman and I wish them and their whanau all the best at this time.

I believe this is the right time to stand down to spend more time with my immediate whanau and a fresh pair of eyes and “new energy” will be able to take the Rūnanganui forward.

I thank the current board for their understanding and wish them the best.

Lastly I wish to mihi to Aunty Kahu, Uncle Mac, Uncle Koro, Uncle Kingi and Uncle Meto for all their aroha.

Naku noa, na
Moka Apiti

Te Papa Update – Ko Ngā Tūpuna

Te Papa and ngā whānau o Tainui Hui on 21 – 23 February 2020

From 21 to 23 February 2020 Te Papa through its Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme is hosting a delegation of representatives from ngā whānau o Tainui waka.

The kaupapa for the hui is two-fold.  The first is to provide time on Rongomaraeroa (Te Papa’s National Marae) for the delegation to karakia, tangi and mihi with their tūpuna housed at Te Papa.  The remaining kaupapa is to discuss arrangements for the return of these tūpuna to Kāwhia at some time in the future.

Ko ngā tūpuna

These tūpuna have returned from overseas including a tamaiti uri rangatira (mummified infant child of rangitira whakapapa) taken from Hauturu Caves by Andreas Reischek in 1882, and two kōiwi tangata taken from Rākaunui by Henry Suter prior to 1906.

All tūpuna have returned home through the work of the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme and the Repatriation Advisory Panel.  The tamaiti uri rangatira returned in 2015 from the Weltmuseum Wien (Vienna), and the two kōiwi tangata from the Ubersee Bremen Museum in Germany in 2017.

He reta nā Te Kīngitanga

To follow it is important for Te Papa to acknowledge a letter we received from Te Tari o Te Kīngitanga dated 9 April 2019, which supports the return of all three tūpuna through Rākaunui Marae, who in turn appointed Sonny Albert McQueen to lead discussions with Te Papa.

Programme for 21 – 23 February 2020 

Friday morning 21 February  

  • 8 am – Delegation departs Hamilton for Te Papa. 
  • 5 pm – Friday evening – Delegation arrives at Takapūwāhia Marae in Porirua for pōwhiri, dinner, whakawhanaungatanga, and Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme talk about their mahi to bring tūpuna home.

Saturday 22 February  

  • 5.30 am – Delegation travel from Takapūwāhia marae to Te Papa. 
  • 6 am – Pōwhiri at Te Papa – Karakia, tangi, and mihi with tūpuna. 
  • Wānanga kōrero re: return of tūpuna to Kāwhia.

Late morning. 

  • 11.30 am – Delegation returns to Takapūwahia marae for lunch.

Afternoon and evening. 

  • Wānanga kōrero continue re: return of tūpuna to Kāwhia.
  • 6 pm – Dinner

Sunday 23 February  

  • 7.30 am – Poroporoaki and return to Kirikiriroa.  Arrive in Hamilton about 6 pm.

Rākaunui marae
Sonny Albert McQueen
Email: pirairaka@gmail.com

Te Papa:
Te Herekiekie Herewini
Head of Repatriation
Email: teherekiekieh@tepapa.govt.nz
Mobile: 029 601 0090

Te Arikirangi Mamaku
Repatriation Coordinator
Email: tearikirangim@tepapa.govt.nz
Mobile: 029 601 0350