Maniapoto step closer to settling treaty claim

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Ngāti Maniapoto is progressing toward settling their treaty claim. Their Agreement in Principle includes a co-governance arrangement with councils over waterways. 

Tribe negotiator Nanaia Mahuta says they are one-step closer to settling their treaty claim.

"This is a significant occasion for us. It's only really been possible because of the kaumātua that are represented here today, our technical advisers,” said Mahuta.

At the signing ceremony at parliament, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Chris Finlayson addressed the tribe saying, "This is your day. This is your turn to be the recipients of generosity of spirit from your neighbours because you certainly deserve it."

After eight months of negotiations with the Crown and consultation with their iwi, the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board has agreed to the Agreement in Principle. 

Mahuta addressed the audience saying, "The hopes and aspirations of Ngāti Maniapoto me ōna hapū maha (and their many hapū) are shining a little brighter today. The negotiating team has been supported by many people and we take this brief opportunity to thank them.”

Ngāti Maniapoto is seeking commercial redress above the $150 million threshold like treaty claims settled by Waikato-Tainui, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tūhoe. The Crown will also give an apology acknowledging their breeches against the tribe from 1840 to 1975.

"During this time, the Crown has simply failed to act as Maniapoto would expect from their treaty partner. In 1863, the Crown invaded the Waikato leading to the loss of Maniapoto life and destruction of property,” said Finlayson.  

The tribe’s negotiators will now discuss with the Crown how they will proceed toward final settlement.