We won the withdrawal of the Ngāti Ira Wai 558 claim! Now we vote YES for an Inquiry!

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Ngāti Ira's raupatu claim was filed in 1995 by the late Hone Kameta, Te Whiu Ike Tai, John Tai, Terehita John Pio and others and registered as Wai 558. Historical research, whakapapa, social and economic impact reports for the Ngāti Ira claim were commissioned and recorded by Hone Kameta for over 20 years - a rich and proud legacy that has now been passed on to Papa Te Rua Rakuraku with the support of the hapū. 

Background to the Waitangi Tribunal application for an urgent hearing

In January 2017, lead claimant Te Rua Rakuraku for Wai 558 a claim for and on behalf of Ngāti Ira o Waioweka filed an application for an urgent hearing into the Mandate conferred by the Crown to the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Trust (formerly Tu Ake Collective), along with 12 other iwi, hapū and whānau applicants that cover over 25 claims of Te Whakatōhea -  91% of all claimants and their claimant communities. 

The applicants are: 

o Wai 2563, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Ūpokorehe) claim;
o Wai 2589, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Ruatakena) claim;
o Wai 2590, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Rangihaerepō) claim; (now withdrawn)
o Wai 2591, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Ngāti Ira o Waioweka Rohe) claim;
o Wai 2592, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Whakapaupākihi) claim;
o Wai 2593, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Ngāti Patumoana) claim;
o Wai 2594, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Te Whānau o Te Kahika) claim;
o Wai 2595, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Ngati Muriwai) claim;
o Wai 2605, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Te Whānau a Apanui) claim;
o Wai 2606, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Ngai Tamahaua) claim;
o Wai 2609, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Mokomoko) claim;
o Wai 2610, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Hei and Ors) claim; and
o Wai 2657, the Whakatōhea Mandate (Edwards and Ors).

*Within the Wai 2610 (Hei and Ors claim) there are 11 claimants. They are: 

a. Charlie Hei (Wai 224)
b. Nikora Curtis Tautau and Nanette Kernohan (Wai 1082)
c. Waipae Perese and Bella Savage (Wai 1789)
d. Peter Wairata Warren (Wai 2008)
e. William Peter Hatu (Wai 2049)
f. Dr Guy Naden (Wai 2055)
g. Takaparae Papuni (Wai 2066)
h. John Kahui Hillman (Wai 2097)
i. Hoani Kerei (Wai 2290)
j. Nelson Paynter (Wai 2346)
k. Ngārangi Naden (Wai 2462)

On the 28 July 2017, an urgent hearing was granted to the applicants by Deputy Chairperson, Judge P Savage. A copy of this decision can be emailed to you upon request. 

On 8 August 2017, Chief Judge W W Isaac appointed Judge M Doogan as Presiding Officer of the Tribunal panel for the Whakatōhea Deed of Mandate Inquiry and Associate Professor Tom Roa, Dr Robyn Anderson and Basil
Morrison as members of the Tribunal panel. 

On 1 September 2017, Judge Doogan issued a decision that the hearing will commence on Monday 6 November 2017 and conclude on Friday 10 November 2017.

On 20 October 2017, Presiding Officer Judge Doogan issued a decision to hold the urgent hearings at Awakeri Events Centre for practical and logistical reasons. 

Withdrawal of the Wai 558 claim

On November 2016, Ngāti Ira along with 25 claimants invoked the Withdrawal Clause of the WPCT Trust Deed and submitted 1,100 signatures in a petition. Despite this level of opposition, the Crown still recognised the Mandate of the WPCT on 18 December 2016. A hui was convened by the WPCT in January 2017 to address the Withdrawal Petition however claimants were abruptly shut down at the hui and told by the Chairman of the Whakatōhea Trust Board that they did not succeed in reaching the 5% threshold required to withdrawal. No minutes of this hui have ever been received despite various requests by claimants. 

During the applications assessment process, Judge Savage requested further clarification and information on 15 August that was 'missing from the report'  regarding the number of submissions received from each of the hapū of Whakatōhea seeking to withdraw from the mandate. On 6 July 2017, the Whakatōhea Trust Board released a Hapū Withdrawal Submissions Results form which finds that in fact, Ngāti Ira and Ngai Tama passed the 5% threshold. (Those hapū that fell short was not by much. Ngāti Ngahere by 8, Ngāti Patu by 9 etc.)

His Honour, Judge Savage in his decision to grant an urgent hearing stated at para 103 that:

"Indeed, I note that in further evidence submitted by the WPSCT, Ngāi Tamahaua and Ngāti Ira did reach the 5% threshold (Wai 2610, #3.1.8(a)). If the numbers for a given hapū reach or exceed the 5% threshold, then it has to be asked whether locking that hapū into the mandate is consonant with hapū rangatiratanga."

Ngāti Ira claimants have submitted that the Withdrawal Mechanism is too problematic because the process is too onerous; the tribal register is not up to date, valid signatures have been discounted, and the requirements for public hui are too costly. Furthermore, Ngāti Ira claimants say, that they should not have to engage in a tedious Withdrawal Process of an entity to which they did not subscribe to nor support from the outset. 

Based on the following reasons outlined above, and an urgent hearing set down in two weeks time, this petition demands the immediate Withdrawal of Ngāti Ira's claim Wai 558 by the Crown to the claimants and hapū of Ngāti Ira o Waioweka to determine their own settlement pathway - either a Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry process or Direct Negotiations.

"Mā Ngāti Ira e kōrero mō Ngāti Ira" - Te Rua Rakuraku 

#NoConsent #NoMandate #WithdrawNgātiIraClaim