Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou!

It has been a big year for Ngāti Rangitihi, and with just a week to go before Christmas, I would like to take the opportunity to look back on the year that’s been, and give you some insight into what we have to look forward to in the coming year.

We must first acknowledge those who have passed during the year – rātou kua ngaro ki te pō e moe, e moe, e moe. Kati. Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate, te hunga ora ki te hunga ora. Tēnā tātou katoa.

We also karakia for the recovery of those who have been injured following the Whakaari eruption, and the return to whānau of all those who have died. We stand with Ngāti Awa to share your sadness and grief on the loss of life on Whakaari.

From Matatā we can see Whakaari shrouded with the aftermath of the eruption. We express our support for Ngāti Awa as the Iwi confronts the many aspects that will inevitably emanate from an accident of this nature. Nō reira, he mihi maioha, he mihi aroha hoki tēnei ki a koutou katoa.

Treaty negotiations

I again give huge thanks to all who voted on and approved our Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE) and associated resolutions. As of 1 October, we have been operating under a new Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust PSGE and Trust Deed. It is this PSGE that will receive and administer our settlement redress once our settlement is passed into law.

Part of our journey to settlement has included the development of a strong, collaborative relationship with Tūhourangi. In July, Te Mana signed a Deed of Undertaking with Tūhourangi Tribal Authority, enabling us to jointly negotiate with the Crown for the return of the lands at Waimangu and Ōtūkapuarangi. For both of our iwi, it is a significant and welcome opportunity for us to put our differences aside, despite the mamae of the past, and work together for the collective good of our people.

We were hoping that we would have completed negotiations and initialled our Deed of Settlement before Christmas. Unfortunately, we still have some matters left to sort regarding Waimangu, Otūkapuarangi and Te Tapahoro. Until these are sorted, we cannot initial a Deed of Settlement.

Our negotiators are committed to bringing to you the best possible settlement to vote on. We hope that we will be able to initial our settlement early next year and then hold the Deed of Settlement ratification process not long after.

Connecting with whānau

Our Whānau Day at Rangitihi Marae was a day to remember. It was wonderful to see generations of Ngāti Rangitihi come together, enjoy time with whānau and hear about the whenua significant to our Iwi.

This year, the Trust was also the first iwi to start using YourIwi, a new online database and communications system for iwi to maintain a secure tribal register and connect with members. I know many of you have already registered, in anticipation for voting on our Deed of Settlement next year. If you haven’t registered yet, please make sure you are registered with us. You can register even if you are under 18 years old, however only those 18 or over will be eligible to vote. I encourage you to head over to now to register

I encourage you to read more about the highlights of the year in our Annual Report.  To say that it has been a busy year for the Trust is an understatement – it has been an extremely productive year.

On behalf of all the Trustees, I extend heartfelt thanks to our office team, our whānau across Aotearoa and abroad who continue to support our kaupapa, our negotiating team, and all uri of Ngāti Rangitihi. Your continued support is very much appreciated, and without you, we would not be at this point in our journey.

We hope you have a well-deserved rest over the Christmas and New Year break. Ngā mihi o te wā me te Tau Hou.

I wish you all a very festive and safe holiday season, filled with quality time with whānau. I look forward to connecting with you all in 2020 – it promises to be an exciting one for Ngāti Rangitihi.

Mauri ora!

Leith Comer