Treaty Update – Final two days of hearings to be held in Wellington

On the week of the 4 – 6 October the Waitangi Tribunal held hearings at Toll Stadium in Whangarei, requested by claimants challenging the Crown’s decision to recognise the Ngātiwai Trust Board’s (NTB) Deed of Mandate (DoM).

It was a long three days with a substantial amount of cross-examinations of claimants, the Crown and NTB.  However, after three days of hearings this process was not completed due to the high level korero that was had.

Only Chairman, Haydn Edmonds was able to have time in the witness stand on behalf of NTB.  The remaining four witnesses – Kristan MacDonald, Tania McPherson, Keir Volkerling and Sharyn Mahanga were unable to take the stand due to time constraints, therefore the hearings were not completed within the time allocated. Judge Reeves thus advised that more time would need to be allocated to allow the final witnesses to take the stand to complete the hearings process.

On the 20th October the Waitangi Tribunal released a Memorandum addressing further evidence, cross-examination of confidential documents as well as the revised hearing planning for the Ngātiwai Mandate Inquiry Hearing.  

While some scheduling issues are yet to be resolved, Judge Reeves has advised that more than one additional hearing day will be required for the cross-examination of Ngātiwai Trust Board witnesses.
This has been scheduled for Thursday, 1st and Friday, 2nd December 2016, to be held at the Waitangi Tribunal Offices in Wellington.

Chairman, Haydn Edmonds says “the Ngātiwai Trust Board fully respects the right of the claimants that have gone through this process and I am hopeful that once we complete these final two days in Wellington, that we can come together as Te iwi O Ngātiwai and work together through this Treaty Claims pathway that the Trust Board has established for the Iwi.”

 “It is our rich whakapapa that gives us character.  We need to lift as one so that our iwi survives the ravages of separation being heaped upon us through these Crown processes.”

“I do not believe that these claims are about Ngātiwai versus Ngātiwai.  My fight is, and has always been, with the Crown, not our whanau.”

“Hapū rangatiratanga is important and we are hearing what the whanau are saying.  The mandate clearly includes hapū, marae, kaumātua and all our whanau in this process, with changes and amendments having already been implemented to the DoM as a direct result of hui and submissions over the last two years.”

 “However, there is still wriggle room to develop and improve on these mandate processes and mechanisms as and when we – the Ngātiwai people – identify better ways of doing things.”

 “The Board is only a vehicle that can carry us all into negotiations with the Crown, and the outcome of those negotiations must benefit us all in the 21st century.  It will not be the Ngātiwai Trust Board who handles and manages the putea and resources we get back from the Crown as part of any redress.  That will be the new Post Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE), and what that looks like is up to the uri of Ngātiwai to decide.”

 “The Ngātiwai future is bright and the pathway is through kotahitanga. “

“It is not ideal that we have to travel to Wellington to complete this process.  It was my preference that the Tribunal return to Whangarei to complete this kaupapa.  It was great to see our iwi, especially our kaumātua and kuia come out in mass in October for the first three days of the hearings, with many that want to see out this kaupapa to completion.  Traveling to Wellington may be too far for many, and that is disappointing that many will be unable to attend.”

“However, for those whanau who are interested in attending the final two days of hearings in Wellington, the Board may be able assist with travel and accommodation, however kaumātua will be given first priority.”

“Please contact Barry Caldwell or Moana MacDonald at the Trust Board office on (09) 430 0939 to discuss travel and accommodation options.”

Naku, noa na

Haydn Edmonds

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