Responding to COVID-19

Kia ora e te Iwi,

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on our way of life, and has resulted in uncertain and unsettling times for our people. The Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua Settlement Trust has made some changes to the way we are currently working to ensure we are doing our best to minimise the impacts of the outbreak, and ensure our focus is on supporting our people as we navigate these challenging times together.

To respond to the risks and support our people, the Settlement Trust is prioritising the following:

  • Working from home: All of our kaimahi are working from home, and our office is closed. You can still contact us via phone on 0800 559 867 and email admin@kkwtnr.org.nz during normal working hours. Our Trustees will be connecting online for all meetings so they can continue to operate in this environment.
  • We are contacting our kaumātua and providing support: As per the advice from the Government that everyone should be staying home, we have been contacting the kaumātua who live in our rohe to ensure they have whānau support. For those that don’t have support, we have plans in place to help support them, or are connecting with the relevant agencies to ensure they get the support they need.
  • Working with Government and relevant agencies: We were pleased to see the Government’s announcement that it will dedicate $56 million in funding to support Māori communities and businesses who are feeling the impact of COVID-19. We are working with the relevant agencies so that we understand what support is available for our people and to ensure our response against COVID-19 is co-ordinated. As part of this we are collaborating with other iwi across our rohe through the Wairarapa Māori COVID-19 approach. We will keep communicating updates with you.
  • Keeping the momentum: Through this time we are continuing to work towards a solution on our Settlement with the Crown, keeping up engagement and kōrero with the relevant parties to keep things moving forward. Trustees are continuing to hui over phone and video calls. We will keep you updated as things progress.

Whānau, it is also important that you play your role during these uncertain times, by following advice from the Government.

  • Stay home and keep the bubble of people you are isolating with small and secure.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly – 20 seconds with soap and water. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or disposable tissue.
  • Check in with kaumātua, ideally over the phone, or if in person, maintain at least 2 metres distance from them at all times. They might need help ordering or buying groceries, or just someone to check in with them for a kōrero.
  • Work from home if you can, only essential workers can attend their usual place of work if required to.
  • All non-essential businesses are closed.
  • If you are still attending work, take extra care with your hygiene at work, and when returning home.
  • Call the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number for advice if you have flu-like symptoms 0800 358 5453. Do not go to hospital until you have received advice from Healthline.
  • For comprehensive and up-to-date information about self-isolation and any official COVID-19 developments, go to the COVID-19 Government website: https://covid19.govt.nz/

Please protect yourself and your whānau during this time. If there is anything we can do to assist you, please call the office or a Trustee.

Outcome of the Waitangi Tribunal reports and next steps on our Settlement Journey

The initial Waitangi Tribunal report was released on Tuesday 24 March 2020 in relation to Pouākani Remedies - Wai 85, and Wairarapa ki Tararua District Inquiry - Wai 863 and Wai 429. On Monday 23 March 2020, the High Court rejected Mercury Energy’s attempt to stop the Waitangi Tribunal from issuing its report.

We believe the outcomes of this report now present a positive opportunity for us to move forward for the benefit of all the people of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua – and we want to thank you for all your support during this time.

At a high level, the report made the following preliminary determinations: 

  • The Tribunal acknowledges there has been prejudice towards the people of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua which relates to the Pouākani lands and the Ngāumu Forest, and which needs remedying through the resumption of those lands to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua ownership and financial compensation.
  • The Tribunal intends to make resumption orders for both areas of land. However:
    • The Tribunal considers that Wairarapa Moana Incorporated (WMI) is not the right body to receive the compensation for Pouākani lands for a number of reasons, including the disproportion of shareholdings and skewed benefits that would result in for shareholders.
    • The Tribunal does not think it would be right to make the resumption order for Ngāumu in favour of Ngāi Tūmapūhia-ā-Rangi as while Ngāi Tūmapūhia-ā-Rangi established the importance to them of their mana whenua in and around Ngāumu, the Tribunal considered all Wairarapa hapū had similar links to Ngāumu. The evidence from our Chairman, Robin Potangaroa was another reason the Tribunal gave for its decision which highlighted the complications for Ngāti Kahungunu hapū with the allocation by the Crown of part of the Forest to Rangitāne.
  • The key takeout for why the Tribunal does not intend to make resumptions to either of these groups is related to representation of our iwi within these groups. We believe any additional redress should be made in a way that sees collective benefit for all our people across the rohe, and that the best way to move forward, is together.
  • The Tribunal determined that the resumption orders should be made for the benefit of all of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua and deemed that the Settlement Trust has the necessary attributes of a recipient entity to receive the benefits. However, a further process may be required to confirm this. We will keep you informed of the next steps in due course.

This is positive news for everyone who has whakapapa to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua. The acknowledgement from the Tribunal that additional compensation should be made that will benefit all of our iwi, presents us with a major opportunity. 

As a Settlement Trust, we have always prioritised working together. Our kaupapa has been focused on delivering the benefits of a settlement to all our people across the rohe – including those who are WMI shareholders and Ngāi Tūmapūhia-ā-Rangi hapū. Working in a way that has divided our people has never been our intention, yet we acknowledge that this process has led to some division amongst our people.

We see this as an opportunity to reunite and come together as we look to complete negotiations with the Crown or finalise processes in the Tribunal, so that we can realise our Settlement for our people.

The next steps are:

  • The Waitangi Tribunal will hold a judicial conference to set a timetable for future steps before finally making resumption orders. This timetable is likely to cover six months or more. Timing for this is all obviously dependent on the COVID-19 lockdown period and response from here.
  • In parallel with the Waitangi Tribunal’s timetable, the Settlement Trust will be exploring with all interested parties (the Crown, WMI and Ngāi Tūmapūhia-ā-Rangi hapū) whether an agreed resolution can be reached that reflects the Waitangi Tribunal’s preliminary determinations and which would allow the overall Treaty Settlement to proceed in a shorter timeframe (i.e. less than six months).

While our immediate efforts are now on supporting our whānau during these uncertain times, we are still committed to keeping momentum with our settlement kaupapa. The negotiations team and your Trustees will be continuing to meet over phone and video to continue our kōrero in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your continued support whānau.

Ngā mihi,

Your Trustees.

About the Trust

The purpose of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua Settlement Trust is to represent all our iwi members in negotiating the settlement of our Treaty of Waitangi grievances with the Crown.

The initial Trust was established in December 2010 following extensive consultation with our iwi, hapū and marae. Our trustees were elected by Ngā Hapū Karanga.

We have now transitioned to our Settlement Trust as we work towards completing this important kaupapa for all those who whakapapa to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua.

Register

Everyone who has whakapapa to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua is welcome to register with us.

Why register?

Registering is the first step to:

  • Staying up to date – you’ll receive regular pānui on important issues and decisions affecting our Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua Settlement
  • Having your say – if there are any further votes on matters related to our Treaty Settlement in the future, registered members 18 years or older will be able to vote and have their say.

Or, if you want to know more about your Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua whakapapa, please contact us on 0800 559 867 or info@kkwtnr.org.nz – we can help.

Whānau kōrero

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