On 31 October 2003, following a series of 16 hui between 16 June 2003 and 31 October 2003 (culminating in a hui-ā-iwi at Kahurānaki Marae), the overwhelming majority of Waitangi Tribunal claimants in the Tribunal's Southern Hawke’s Bay Inquiry District (subsequently renamed Heretaunga Tamatea Inquiry District – “HTID”) resolved to work together to progress and settle their respective claims.
The claimants also resolved to file a comprehensive statement of claim, encompassing the then 31 registered Waitangi Tribunal claims, in the Tribunal.
He Toa Takitini
The Waitangi Tribunal claimants proposed that a Taumata based on hapū (represented by marae) be established and to also including three other non-marae based claimant groups.
The Kahurānaki hui-ā-iwi established a Working Group and a Communications Committee to develop a framework for advancing the claims and to ensure regular reporting back to the claimants. The Working Group held a number of workshops with claimants and proposed that a claimant Taumata be established based on representation in terms of marae and claimant groups with a total of 31 groups.
A year later, on 28 August 2004, at a hui-ā-iwi at Pukehou Marae, this structure was ratified and the decision was made to call the Taumata, He Toa Takitini (Our Strength is in Unity). In February 2005, following the election of representatives on to He Toa Takitini, its inaugural meeting was held.
During 2006 and 2007, the Heretaunga Tamatea claimants considered issues relating to the progression of their claims through the Waitangi Tribunal (followed by negotiations) or direct negotiations with the Crown.
Following a series of information hui, on 24 March 2007 at a hui-ā-iwi at Omahu Marae, the Taumata and the Heretaunga Tamatea claimants voted to proceed straight to direct negotiations with the Crown rather than progress these claims through the Waitangi Tribunal.
Subsequently He Toa Takitini developed a mandate strategy to mandate a Heretaunga Tamatea Representative Body. On 3 May 2008, Heretaunga Tamatea ratified the Heretaunga Tamatea Claims Mandate Strategy, along with an amended comprehensive statement of claim, at a hui-ā-iwi held at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and it was approved by the Office of Treaty Settlements on 24 April 2009. Taumata elections for Mandated Marae Representatives were subsequently held in June 2009 and Taumata membership was confirmed in July and August that year.
On 31 August 2009, at its inaugural meeting, the Heretaunga Tamatea representative entity resolved to adopt the name ‘He Toa Takitini’.
Heretaunga Tamatea mandated He Toa Takitini to negotiate a deed of settlement with the Crown, by undertaking consultations and meetings amongst claimant groups, on 25 August 2010.
The Crown conditionally recognised the mandate of He Toa Takitini on 15 October 2010 and, following further mandating hui for members of Heretaunga Tamatea living outside the Heretaunga Tamatea area of interest, the Crown unconditionally recognised this mandate on 4 February 2011.
The mandated negotiators and the Crown –
by terms of negotiation dated 19 December 2011, agreed the scope, objectives, and general procedures for the negotiations; and
by agreement dated 11 June 2014, agreed, in principle, that Heretaunga Tamatea and the Crown were willing to enter into a deed of settlement on the basis set out in the agreement; and
since the agreement in principle, have –
(a) in good faith, conducted extensive negotiations; and
(b) negotiated and initialled a deed of settlement.
Te Whare Kōrero
The mandated negotiators and the Crown agreed to provide the claimant community the opportunity to present their respective grievances to the Crown on 5–8 June 2013. He Toa Takitini and the Crown jointly facilitated Te Whare Kōrero, presided over by the Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand and the Chief Crown Negotiator.
He kōrero i puta rā i a Tā Tīmoti Kāretu ki te Whare Kōrero i te 6 o Hune 2013:
Kāore pea i tua atu i tā te ruri kohara, whakaaroharoha nei a Ignazio Battista, tangata o roto mai o Hihiri, arā o Sicily, i whānau nei i te tau 1899, i a ia i kī rā,
“Inā herea te tangata ki te mekameka,
Tangohia rānei ko ōnā kākahu,
Whakapurua rānei ko tōna wāha
Ka herehere kore, ka noho wātea tonu ia
Tangohia atu tana mahi, tana uruwhenua,
Te tēpu e kai ai ia, te moenga rānei e moe ai ia
E tangata whai rawa tonu ana
Ka rawa kore, ka pōhara te tangata
Ā te wā e tangohia atu ai te reo i ōhākītia mai ai e ōna tīpuna ki a ia
Hai reira kua iho ngaro mō ake tonu atu”
There is probably no more moving a poem dedicated to the loss of language than this one written by Ignazio Battista, a Sicilian poet born in 1899, who said,
“Put a people in chains
Strip them, plug up their mouths They are still free.
Take away their job, their passport
The table they eat on, the bed they sleep in They are still rich.
A people become poor and enslaved
When they are robbed of the language
Left them by their ancestors
They are lost forever.”
Te Whare Kōrero was recorded and is available for viewing here.
Deed of Settlement
Heretaunga Tamatea, between 19 December 2014 and 5 February 2015, ratified by a majority of 94%, the governance entity Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust to receive the redress for historical claims. On 10 March 2015, the Crown recognised that the ratification results demonstrated sufficient support from Heretaunga Tamatea for the governance entity.
Heretaunga Tamatea then, by a majority of 96%, ratified the Deed of Settlement and approved its signing on their behalf by He Toa Takitini and the mandated negotiators.
By resolution of the Trustees on 1 September 2015, Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust approved entering into, and complying with, the Deed of Settlement.