Ngāti Maniapoto people vote to sign treaty settlement

By Tamati Tiananga

The people of Maniapoto have spoken, now the chair of the trust board, Keith Ikin, says the wait begins for a final decision from Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson.  

“The message from our people is resounding, we think there’s been significant participation, we are confident and we are expectant,” said Maniapoto Māori Trust Board (MMTB) chairperson Keith Ikin.  

Two-thirds of whānau who whakapapa within Te Nehenehenui aged 18 and over have voted in support of Ngāti Maniapoto's proposed post-settlement governance entity. However, the decision will only become final if the government ministers are satisfied that sufficient support has been achieved.

“We’re hoping that in October we will host the government here within Te Nehenehenui in amongst our people and the settlement will be signed,” said Ikin.

On Wednesday, the MMTB received confirmation of ratification results for the Maniapoto treaty settlement and proposed post-settlement governance entity.

Voters were asked to vote on three resolutions regarding their support for the Maniapoto deed of settlement (DOS) package, the proposed post-settlement governance entity (PSGE) to hold and administer settlement assets, and the transfer of assets from MMTB to the new PSGE.

Te Whakaminenga o Rereahu submitted a bid to change the board’s mandate to negotiate the settlement, however, this failed to reach the necessary 75 percent threshold. Ikin said the leadership of Te Whakaminenga o Rereahu has requested to hold a meeting to discuss the outcome further.

“When the results came through and before they were made public, I wanted them to hear the outcome from us directly. It was a positive discussion and their leadership acknowledged the result,” he said.  

Results Comparison

“By way of comparison, in 2016, when MMTB sought a mandate to enter into negotiations with the Crown, there was 72% support from our people with a voter participation rate of 24.96%. A key focus of the Board through the ratification process was to encourage participation in this vote. It is pleasing to see that this participation level is significantly higher than any other vote conducted by the Board," said Ikin.

When comparing with other iwi ratification results, Ikin said Maniapoto is on par for participation and support percentages with iwi of a similar scale (population).

A copy of the initialled Deed of Settlement and PSGE Trust Deed is available on the Ngāti Maniapoto website.