Ngāti Hinerangi's first step towards settlement

By Mānia Clarke
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The tribe of Ngāti Hinerangi from Matamata and tauranga signed the agreement in principle for their Waitangi Treaty Claim, and the crown today at Hinerangi Tāwhaki Marae in Okauia, near Matamata today.

Blessing from their ancestors on this prestigious day for the Ngāti Hinerangi people.

For 10 years, the eight sub-tribes of Ngāti Hinerangi have tirelessly worked to push their claim, and their dream has been realised.

According to Ngāti Hinerangi descendant Morehu McDonald it’s an important day for the Ngāti Hinerangi “I want to acknowledge our people, who've remained resolute and determined by the love of their ancestors, to retain the customs and rituals of the Hinerangi people.”

The redress will include over $8mil, the Waihou river, Wairere falls, some commercial properties in the Matamata township, right of first refusal for four local schools, and a few land reserves in Tauranga.

“Today in the presence of the Crown, local councils such as Matamata Piako, Waikato and others, the people of Hinerangi have been recognised” says Mokoro Gillett from the Ngāti Haua sub-tribe.

The ancestral mountain of Teweraiti, some peaks and tracks traversed by their ancestors on the kaimai range will be returned to the tribe, but will continue to be managed by DoC, and will remain accessible to the public

"We are the guardians, for our children now and descendants to come" says Mr McDonald.

The settlement is expected to be finalised next year.