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)