In 2008, the Central North Island (CNI) Iwi Collective agreed to a unique tikanga based Mana Whenua resolution process. This allowed iwi themselves to settle any overlapping claims to the 176,000 hectares of CNI forest land.
The final phase was adjudication earlier this year. A panel of three adjudicators determined mana whenua in nine Kāingaroa Crown Forestry Licence areas (CFLs). Iwi presented their whakaaro of tikanga, whakapapa relationships, traditions and their understanding of mana whenua in the CFLs and the Kāingaroa in general.
Te Mana committed significant resources to present its korero. This proved successful with our mana whenua recognised in eight CFLs, equating to 19,959 hectares (or 50,000 acres). CNI Iwi have until 2044 to agree how this land is held, in the meantime title will remain with CNI Iwi Holdings. Te Mana will continue kanohi ki te kanohi to agree mana whenua in four other CFLs covering about 26,000 hectares.
Current rental sharing arrangements will remain until 2044, so the practical effects will not be noticed for another 29 years, unless CNI Iwi unanimously agree otherwise. Based on the mana whenua agreed to date, we estimate Te Mana will receive nearly five times its current rental.