Ngāti Tūwharetoa have voted ‘Yes’ to settle the tribe’s historic Treaty of Waitangi claims and to set up a new body to administer tribal affairs.
In the recently completed ratification process, tribal members were asked to cast two votes:
1. To accept the settlement offer made by the Crown.
2. To accept the proposed body to represent the iwi after the claims process was complete.
Final, scrutinised results were decisive. They show nearly three quarters of those who voted said yes to the settlement offer and yes to the new post-settlement governance entity – known as Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Tūwharetoa Trust.
Te Ariki o Tūwharetoa, Tā Tumu Te Heuheu said he was heartened by the result. But, more importantly, excited by the opportunity it presents.
Te Heuheu says, “The vision and the path forward for Tūwharetoa remains the same. It was set by the hapū at the beginning of negotiation process. Now it is close to being a reality.
The exciting thing is that we have an opportunity now to set our own course forward. This settlement is about our past and our future. We have always said our strength is in our unity and that this settlement needs to respect the tikanga, values and goals of our tūpuna, but carried forward by a modern and representative entity. I look forward to our people working together to achieve this.”