Tēnā tātou, e te whānau,

We hope that you and your whānau are keeping well during these challenging times.

We want to acknowledge the significant milestone we have reached as an iwi this week. The third and final reading of the Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill was read in Parliament yesterday, with a small rōpū of our members in Wellington to hear it. Unfortunately, we could not have more people there due to COVID-19 restrictions; however, more important than the occasion is what this reading represents for our iwi members today and our tīpuna.

This Settlement Bill represents the values of our tīpuna and acknowledges the hardships they suffered on our behalf to get us to this point. It brings a finality to the numerous separate claims made by hapū and whānau and recognises the trials and tribulations Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi has suffered throughout this process while standing by the Crown, often to our detriment.

This marks an exciting final step to receiving redress for our grievances against the Crown and start to move forward and begin the healing of the mamae of our tīpuna.


What happens now?

This settlement means we will be rightfully acknowledged as the kaitiaki and owners of our whenua, and we will help lead the way in the restoration of Tarawera awa — our life source.

The Deed of Settlement includes an Historic Account, Crown Acknowledgements of how and when it breached Te Tiriti, and the Crown’s Apology. It sets out the return of culturally significant lands, relationship agreements with Government agencies, and Financial Redress of $11.3 million. Te Mana will receive $4 million, plus interest in addition to the interest in forest lands valued at $7.3 million that were part of the 2008 Central North Island Forest Lands Collective Settlement (CNI).

This redress gives us more information and understanding of who we are, where we have come from and what our values are. It also speaks to our confidence in being able to speak about ourselves.

It enables strong relationships with neighbouring iwi, including Tūhourangi, Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa (Bay of Plenty), as Ngāti Rangitihi Iwi move forward into the future.

The third reading of our Settlement Bill is the next step within the legislation stage of the parliamentary process and the final step in moving forward following the disagreements and challenges we have fought through. The final administrative step is what is known as Royal Assent, where the Governor General signs off on the Bill.

From here, we move to the Implementation stage where we work with the Crown to ensure that everything agreed in the Deed of Settlement happens.


What does the future hold?

We can now look to the future for our iwi with clarity and certainty.

We have conducted a number of strategic planning hui at Rangitihi Marae over the past couple of years, involving Trustees of Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust, our Trading Trust, Charitable Trust, Ruawāhia 2B, the Marae Trust, along with Ngāti Rangitihi registered members sharing in kōrero about our strategic priorities and future aspirations. Using this feedback, we have shaped our goals, Strategic Plan and Work Plan for the Trust and our iwi.

As you may have seen in our 2021 Annual Report, our Strategic Plan is our roadmap to 2026 and outlines the initiatives we hope to achieve post-settlement. In brief, our four pou: Ahurea (Cultural), Hapori (Social), Tuākī Pūtea (Economic) and Taiao (Environmental) are a guide to help us focus on our three main goals:


We will expand more on our Strategic Plan and plans post-settlement at our 2022 Annual General Meeting on 21 March. Please remember to join the Facebook Group here to watch the AGM livestream.

It has taken huge sacrifices, years of hard mahi and commitment from our tīpuna, settlement negotiators, trustees and iwi members to get us to this point. The third reading of our Settlement Bill is reason for celebration and a show of gratitude to all our people. Thank you.

We are dedicated to continuing to work towards a brighter future for our iwi and will keep you updated as we make progress on our plans for the future. If you have any pātai, please reach out.

For more information on where we have come from and what we have achieved to get to this point, please visit our website.

Nāku noa, nā
Leith Comer