News & Updates



Letter from Minister Little  Minister of Treaty Negotiations 17 June 2020

Letter to Minister Little  From Te Runanga o Ngati Hikairo 17 July 2020

As previously stated the claims progress had grind to a halt during the Covid19 lockdown. But since that time there has been some movement. A letter was received by the Runanga on the 17th of June (see attached) from the Minister of Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little. Basically the letter was to inform us that the Crown has recognised the mandate of Waikato Tainui.

As reported by the claims team in July last year, they had planned to do a series of consultation hui around the motu with Ngati Hikairo. The ongoing issue has been how this process would be funded. Minister Little refers to the Claims team’s efforts to secure putea for a consultation round with Ngati Hikairo. Which they were successful in doing through Te Arawhiti (Formerly known as the Office of Treaty Settlements). No sooner had the Claims team secured this putea, then the country went into Covid 19 lock down. So the consultation process is planned to begin soon.

Minister Little also explains in this letter that the original deed of mandate submitted by Waikato Tainui has been changed, and provides a link for us to view these changes. You will note in the attached letter of response, we advise Minister Little that we have not had an opportunity to respond to these changes to the mandate and how they will affect us as an Iwi if we were to agree to proceed with Waikato Tainui.

The Minister then explains to us (again), that despite our insistence that our claims are not to be included in the mandate, that because Ngati Hikairo and Ngati Puhiawe we were included (as hapu) in the original 1995 Waikato Tainui settlement, that we are bound by this and the Wai 30 Claim (which was the claim on the West Coast Harbours that Waikato Tainui included in the 1995 agreement). He then provides a list of our Claims that we have excluded from the Waikato Tainui mandate, this includes the Te Maru o Hikairo claims that were submitted by The Runanganui o behalf of the Iwi to the Waitangi Tribunal.

He then explains that Waikato Tainui has been arranging various negotiation reps from across the west coast harbours, and suggests we look at the deed of mandate to see how this will be structured, and adds that we must engage in the process with Waikato Tainui. Refer to our response letter in regards to this.

At this time the Claims Team have been in discussions with Waikato Tainui to develop a way by which we see our mana whenua and mana moana is maintained in Kawhia Moana. The devil is in the detail. The Claims team need to have the details clearly defined before they begin the consultation hui across the motu, so that our people clearly understand what they are compromising if the agree to be included or excluded in the Waikato Tainui claim on Kawhia Moana.


Te Runanganui o Ngati Hikairo had planned to regularly update whanau on the Waitangi Tribunal Claims this year. But all Treaty Claims progress has been severely hampered in 2020 by the COVID 19 outbreak, and as a consequence there has not been a lot of progress to report. Below  is an overview of where progress sits at this time:

The Te Rohe Potae Claims

Te Rohe Potae Waitangi Tribunal Report

The last draft chapter of the report was finally released on the 8th June 2020 and is currently being reviewed by the claims team.

However the following from the report states:

23.10.4 Tribal identity

“We find that the Crown has acted inconsistently with the principle of equal treatment by failing to respect the distinct identity of Ngāti Hikairo and Ngāti Te Wehi”.

Ngati Maniapoto

Despite Ngati Maniapoto having completed their mandating process, issues have arisen with hapu citing that their interests have not been fairly represented by the mandating process. Ngati Maniapoto are in the process of negotiating with these groups.

While in discussions with the Office of Treaty Settlements, now called Te Arawhiti, Ngati Maniapoto have been asked also to discuss cross-boundary issues with neighbouring iwi, including Ngati Hikairo.

Waikato- Tainui

WT are currently negotiating representation with various hapu and iwi prior to commencing the mandating process. Ngati Hikairo, along with hapu around Whaingaroa/Raglan have not agreed to WT representing their interests at this time. Part of the issue is that Waikato Tainui are unable to clearly explain how Ngati Hikairo will maintain its mana moana and mana whenua if represented by Waikato Tainui. Discussions are due to resume with Ngati Hikairo.

Ngati Hikairo

At this time the claims team have been approved by Te Arawhiti an iwi consultation period as part of the discussion regarding the claims process. This will include consultation with Iwi on the direction we will be taking to settle our outstanding claims.  The ability to do this has been hampered by the COVID19 restrictions. A survey will be posted soon for whanau to complete regarding the process of the consultation.