As they navigate their way through their Treaty Claims, a Te Atiawa Iwi Authority decision has caused division amongst the hapū after cashing in on whenua known as the Pekapeka Block in Waitara, instead of having the whenua returned.
Wikitoria Keenan of Te Atiawa Iwi Authority says, “Our job was to get the best deal for Te Atiawa as a whole not to get the best deal for this hapu, that hapu or the next hapu.”
However Glen Skipper says, “Now what we've got is people are entrenching themselves, the divide between our people is getting wider. It’s doing the exact opposite of what the treaty settlements was supposed to do.”
A deed of settlement was initialled with the crown in June for $91 million, now some hapū in opposition to the deed are angered that their wishes were not listened to.
Rawiri Doorbar states, “This was supposed to be a time when we could say, we got our whenua back and we can put this to bed, but that won't be for us.”
The Iwi Authority are holding ratification hui throughout the country, voting closes July 17.