Very early in the negotiation the whanau whānui of Heretaunga Tamatea were not happy with the framework proposed for the post-settlement governance entity. Although clearly aware that its prescriptive nature was a Crown requirement, Heretaunga Tamatea sought an undertaking that the framework would be revisited once the negotiations were completed and the redress received.
Clause 24 of the Trust Deed made provision for an evaluation to be undertaken within two years of the settlement date, that is by 20 August 2020.
Evaluation Working Group
The Constitutional Evaluation Working Group (the Team) commenced its work by hosting a series of Whare Kōrero hui where the Team would hear submissions in relation to the constitutional framework for the Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust (HTST).
Specifically the objective was to co-design a tino rangatiratanga-based framework that would recognise the cultural and collective ways of Heretaunga Tamatea.
Individuals were also encouraged to make submissions, along with marae, whanau and HTST trustees and staff.
Emerging issues of the constitutional review were:
Voters should be able to vote for all Marae representatives where the voter could show their connection to the marae through whakapapa;
One single election every three years is preferred, now that the Trust has had time to settle in to post-settlement governance;
The size of the HTST Board (currently 23) should remain until collective of Marae advise of their preferred groupings should this be different;
HTST should adopt a new name to show unity;
Other marae should be able to join HTST and be represented;
Partnership arrangements should be developed with other entities that serve the Heretaunga Tamatea whanau;
A separate entity should be explored that provides for commercial development but ensures sufficient direction from the mandated trustees;
Explore a charitable entity that will support and reduce HTST’s tax exposure.
The Evaluation Working Group proposed next steps for the Constitutional Review in the Constitutional Review Report released to members in February 2021. Members will be updated about the Constitutional Review at the AGM on 25 September 2021. Kia mau tonu mai – watch this space.