Tūhoe's settlement journey with the Crown will continue

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Tūhoe's settlement with the Crown will continue, regardless of the recent court rulings concerning Te Upokorehe and land reserves in Waikaremoana.

Te Kāea revealed this week the cross claim issues and its effect on the Tūhoe Settlement.  However, Tūhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger says the Settlement is set to move into its third reading.

This week a High court ruling gave Te Upokorehe a stronger voice.  Another recent ruling gave the Ahu Whenua Trust in Waikaremoana the ability to determine their rights over the lands in Waikaremoana. However Tuhoe's Tamati Kruger isn't concerned.

Tamati Kruger says, “those lands in Waikaremoana remain outside of the claim those lands have already allocated names to them overall what needs to happen is a list that determines the owners.”

Te Upokorehe have long been battling to have their mana whenua and mana moana. This week, Judge Joe Williams ruled in favour of Te Upokorehe to present their claims before the Waitangi Tribunal.  Tūhoe have land interests in the Ohiwa harbour an area which Te Upokorehe say they own. 

This week Te Kaea also spoke to shareholders of Tuhoe Waikaremoana Māori Trust Board about how they should decide their way forward for their land blocks. The blocks were administered by the Trust Board for 40 years, but recently, the court appointed new trustees.

Although Te Urutaumatua the executive body of Tūhoe contested the decision, the lands now come under Ahuwhenua Trust, 'Te Roia o Te Whenua.'

Kruger says, "Let it be, so we can know, who are they, where are they from, what do they intent to do with those lands."

The third reading of the Tūhoe Settlement bill is set to take place in Parliament on the 20th of next month, making history and the settlement law in this country, even after these rulings.