Rahui at Waiotahe

Attention whanau, Upokorehe have declared a rahui on the Waiotahe river following a drowning.   Please respect this swimming and fishing prohibition which ends 11 March 2019.

Hapu tells NZ Government “next steps”



Hapu outlines next steps for NZ Government in Whakatohea situation


Ngai Tamahaua Hapu Chair Peter T Selwyn today announced next steps for the New Zealand Government in response to the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations’ statement of 22 February 2019 on the Whakatohea Treaty settlement situation.


Mr Selwyn says: “The Hapu have made it clear that dialogue with the New Zealand Government on decolonisation of our territory and reparations can only commence once concrete steps have been made by them to end their divisive mandate policy – in particular, the New Zealand Government must terminate mandate recognition of Whakatohea Pre-Settlement Claims Trust (WPSCT) and their negotiators and withdraw the WPSCT-negotiated Agreement in Principle signed in 2017.”


“I welcome the Minister’s recent realisation of the critical importance of Hapu in future Treaty negotiations,” says Mr Selwyn, “however the Hapu will not start negotiations on settling the historical Treaty violations of the Crown until after a Waitangi Tribunal comprehensive historical inquiry is complete.”


Ngai Tamahaua Hapu claimants Tracy F Hillier and Rita R Wordsworth have also rejected the Minister’s “parallel” scenario and have asked the Tribunal to begin an inquiry without delay.  Ms Hillier says: “90% of Whakatohea claimants oppose the WPSCT.  The Tribunal’s urgent inquiry into the mandate (Wai 2662 report) exposed the opportunism of the previous government in using a small group at the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board to hijack the mandate.  These government paid individuals have failed to unite anyone other than themselves and Ministers must stop this circus.”


A Waitangi Tribunal-directed opinion poll of Whakatohea Hapu was held last year to indicate levels of support for an inquiry or the WPSCT continuing to negotiate.  Ngai Tamahaua Hapu did not support participation in the poll and did not supply their register.  All participating Hapu voted in favour of a Tribunal inquiry, while WPSCT negotiation only had the support of half the Hapu – the lowest level of support recorded in a live mandate situation.


Ms Hillier says: “The poll considerably under-represents the opposition to the government’s Pre-Settlement Trust.  The poll lacked credibility for many reasons: using unauthorised voter rolls that could not be verified, the involvement of the government’s mandated Trust in the process and their overwhelming government funding, the refusal to admit Hapu scrutineers to the count and the result which was not certified.  The Minister identifies the poll’s lack of independence when he praises the Trust’s ‘hard work they have done in facilitating the voting process’- a clear conflict of interest that brings the result into question.”



Hapu Chair sends Waitangi Day greetings to Queen

Following the direction of the Hapu Hui on Sunday (03/02/2019) Ngai Tamahaua Hapu Chair Peter T Selwyn has sent a letter to HM the Queen and her UK and NZ governments on the occasion of Waitangi Day 2019.  The text of the Chair’s letter is as below:


HM The Queen

Buckingham Palace, LONDON.


HM United Kingdom Government

Rt Hon Prime Minister

Rt Hon Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary

Downing St, LONDON.

HE British High Commissioner

British High Commission, WELLINGTON.


HM New Zealand Government

HE Rt Hon Governor-General

Government House, WELLINGTON.

Rt Hon Prime Minister

Hon Minister for Maori-Crown Relations

Hon Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Hon Minister for Maori Development

Parliament Buildings, WELLINGTON.


5 February 2019


Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi 1840


Tena koe Queen Elizabeth II

Nga mihi o te tau hou – greetings to Your Majesty and the Right Honourable and Honourable Ministers of your respective Governments in this new year.

I address you all as Chair of Ngai Tamahaua Hapu in our sovereign capacity.

Ngai Tamahaua Hapu are tangata whenua (indigenous people) of the Opotiki country of Aotearoa (New Zealand).  The Hapu of Whakatohea entered into sovereign relations with the Crown when our Hapu leadership signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty) on 27 May 1840 at Opotiki.

The Treaty guarantees to us Her Majesty’s royal protection and provides for the continued exercise of our own governance and imparts to our members the rights and privileges of British Subjects.  These British guarantees to our Hapu have been imperfectly observed by Her Majesty’s Governments, especially from the time of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy and colonial military invasion of Opotiki in 1865 and subsequent confiscation of land and militarised occupation (the Raupatu).

The Raupatu and its maintenance by the New Zealand Government is a particularly nasty abrogation of the Treaty which the Hapu want to stop and – absent any international mechanism – one that the Hapu wishes to have inquired into by the Waitangi Tribunal of New Zealand (the Tribunal) and heard without delay.  It is hoped that the inquiry report (on the 1840-1992 period) will then inform settlement negotiations.

A Tribunal-directed opinion poll of last year indicated an inquiry was unanimously supported by all Hapu of Whakatohea and the New Zealand Government’s mandated negotiation entity registered only uneven and marginal support.  The New Zealand Government would be wise to take this opportunity to terminate the mandate recognition and support a Tribunal inquiry.  Please find my letter of 8 January 2017 to the respective Governments on the matter of our Treaty policy remains applicable.

I note the New Zealand Justice Minister Hon. Andrew Little gave a speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council at Geneva on 21 January 2019 which employed ambiguous language around the Treaty status and recited a reliance of his Government on the discredited colonial tools of limitation out of step with the global consensus established by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.  Let me once again urge the respective Governments to dialogue with Hapu on issues of self-determination and transition.  In that regard I thank the former High Commissioner, HE Jonathan Sinclair, for his kind words to us on the occasion of our 2017 Treaty anniversary and would very much appreciate any message from the present High Commissioner on the upcoming anniversary 27 May 2019.

I understand that a House of Commons motion to acknowledge the Treaty is customarily made on February 6th – the date it was first signed in 1840.  The Hapu welcome such a motion.


Naku noa na

Peter T Selwyn

Ngai Tamahaua Hapu Chair


Hui mo ia marama 03/02/2019

Nau mai haere mai!

Our first Hapu hui of the year is set down for Sunday, February 3rd at Opape Marae.  Begins 10:30am.  Agenda and minutes to be distributed to the email list prior.  Please bring a plate.

Peter T Selwyn, Tiamana.

Headlines in second week of Waitangi Tribunal’s troubled Whakatohea vote

Ngai Tamahaua Hapu
Opape Marae, Opotiki.
For immediate release
13 October 2018
Headlines in second week of Waitangi Tribunal’s troubled Whakatohea vote
Challenge to legality of Tribunal’s mandate vote for BoP Iwi
Hapu positive for end to private trust mandate and full inquiry
Tribunal’s finding of unfair, bad faith mandate at odds with pro-govt, anti-Hapu vote process
Doogan plan a bogus ballot, slammed as govt-staged farce
Tribunal gives private trust “3 bites of the cherry” to keep invalid mandate status
OTS bales out trust board cronies paddling sinking waka
Pre-settlement entity exists only on TPK website, not registered
90% of claimants in “large natural group” oppose govt-backed trust
Previous negotiator Tuariki John Delamere critical of current attempt, says ‘No’ to mandate
Govt QC asked to quit as poll facilitator
Minister demands report from Whakatohea board before AGM
No scrutiny of Board’s secret voter roll
Privacy Commissioner involved in Iwi roll row
Vote result for self-serving govt “to read the tea leaves”
Full historic inquiry by Tribunal a right say claimants
Hapu reps tell uri wanting to vote: cast special ballot against mandate and for full inquiry

Muriwai Tournament inaugural pool and darts competition a success

Media Release: Muriwai Tournament inaugural pool and darts competition a success.

8 October 2018
[For immediate releae]
Muriwai Tournament 2018 organisers are pleased with the success of this year’s inclusion of pool and darts into the tournament in its 36th year.  The event took place at the Opotiki RSA on Friday and Saturday 5 – 6 October and proved popular with more teams wanting to enter than could be accommodated.  The annual sporting tournament run by the Ngai Tamahaua Hapu brings whanau together with the Muriwai connection extending across the Bay and beyond.
The D.H. Herewini memorial trophy taonga for the “winner of the billiards” was presented by the whanau in honour of long-time tournament official – and billiards ace – David Herewini.  The trophy was taken out by the Omarumutu combination of Rip Morgan and Massey Te Pairi.  The victorious pair battled it out in the final rounds with Waiaua-based “OGs” and the Maraenui “Hot Shots”.  Witeria Papuni – who also played – controlled the proceedings and was praised for organising a well-run event that saw 16 teams compete over the two days.
There were a whole table of trophies and medals on offer for the darts competition including the Pano Heurea Memorial “Bulls Eye Finish” and trophies for mens and womens high score and high peg in divisions 1 and 2.  Torere Shot Darts came runners up with Bullzeye (Maraenui) victorious.  All the eight available dart boards at the RSA had to be used for the 16 teams and there was a big crowd enjoying the display of dartsmanship.

Hapu reject flawed Waitangi Tribunal voting process

The Hapu continue to oppose the Treaty of Waitangi settlement mandate conferred by the NZ government on the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board associated entity, WPSCT.   The mandate is subject to a Waitangi Tribunal directed voting process which is also opposed.

The Tribunal has already found in its report that the WPSCT lacks legitimacy. The voting issue is subject to judicial review proceedings to which the Hapu is party. The WMTB is subject to a ministerial inquiry in regard to the disputed 2017 elections and issues of malgovernance.  Given the situation the Hapu Chair and claimants have today sent the following letter on behalf of the Hapu to the Ministers responsible:

Peter T Selwyn, Ngai Tamahaua Hapu Chair
Tracy F Hillier and Rita R Wordsworth, Wai 1781 claimants
tracyhillier@ngaitai.iwi.nz, rita.wordsworth@yahoo.com
Opape Marae

Minister for Crown/Maori Relations
Minister for Maori Development
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Settlement Negotiations
Parliament Buildings

by email: k.davis@ministers.govt.nz, n.mahuta@ministers.govt.nz, a.little@ministers.govt.nz

21 September 2018

Urgent matter: Ngai Tamahaua Hapu opposition to Whakatohea/WPSCT mandate and Wai 2662 voting recommendations

Tena koe Hon. Kelvin Davis, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, Hon. Andrew Little

Ngai Tamahaua Hapu oppose the voting process recommended by the Waitangi Tribunal in the matter of Wai 2662. The proposed questions, voting process and the arrangements made to date have no credibility and none of it has been consented to by the Hapu.

The Hapu have long demanded the Tribunal grant us a full district inquiry into the historic breaches of Te Tiriti by the Crown and that is what we view is required to be given to us as of right pursuant to the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. The Hapu have stated that negotiation with your government on a comprehensive Treaty settlement can only occur after completion of this inquiry. In refusing to grant this inquiry and in supporting a voting process to which we are opposed it is demonstrable that the terms of Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840 are being violated by your government. We observe the Tribunal appears to be pushing ahead with this voting process despite all of the insurmountable problems it continues to encounter and the matter is now urgent and your action is required to avert further prejudice to the Hapu and further damage to relations. Ministers must know that the Hapu consider the voting process to be an attack on the mana motuhake and rangatiratanga of the Hapu and constitutes a serious defiance of Hapu tikanga.

Ministers are advised to instruct their respective departments to stop all further action in support of the Wai 2662 voting process.

As you must be aware the Tribunal’s voting recommendation is subject to a judicial review in which the Ngai Tamahaua claimants on behalf of the Hapu are an intervener party. We are also yet to receive any information from the Minister of Maori Development in respect to the final report from Mr Heron QC who has inquired into the misconduct of the 2017 elections and the malgovernance of the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board. As you must be aware the WMTB voting roll is proposed to be used as the primary basis for this vote. The Hapu have our own roll which will not be supplied or permitted to be used for that voting process.

The Hapu must reiterate that the WMTB has no right and no permission to use the Ngai Tamahaua Hapu section of the roll for this proposed voting process and the Hapu reserves the right to take the measures that may be necessary to ensure this does not occur. The Hapu has exceeded the withdrawal petition threshhold set in the mandate documents recognised by your government and this must be satisfactory evidence of your own standard that the Hapu must be recognised as having no part in this framework.

In these circumstances it would be most improper for Ministers to continue to allow the WPSCT (a WMTB-associated un-registered trust with a lack of legitimacy according to the Tribunal) to be funded or given any form of government support or to organise any voting process. If the unwillingness of Ministers to terminate mandate settlement recognition of the WPSCT relies only on the fact that the Tribunal is still active in the supervision of the proposed voting recommendation then this is now settled in the case of Ngai Tamahaua from what you have been informed of above. We are out, indeed we were never in.

Ministers are advised to immediately terminate the Whakatohea/WPSCT mandate – or at the very least to recognise Ngai Tamahaua Hapu (Wai 1781) as being outside of the Whakatohea/WPSCT mandate.

An unwillingness on the part of Ministers at this point to halt this clearly flawed voting process or unwillingness to recognise that the Hapu is outside of the purported mandate would be considered a provocation warranting a sharp reaction from the Hapu. As it stands the Hapu policy as to our relations is contained in a letter from the Hapu Chair to the UK and NZ governments dated 8 January 2017. As signalled in that letter the Hapu in addition to taking measures of defence reserve the right to refer the matter to exterior fora under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to initiate proceedings at the UN for decolonisation on the basis of that applied to Tokelau.

For your information the Hapu claimants intend to send a memorandum requesting the Tribunal to:
a) declare the voting recommendation redundant due to unresolvable practical and legal difficulties and to vacate all that part of the recommendation concerning a vote, and
b) discharge the Hon Mr Harrison QC from his duties as Independent returning Officer, and
c) declare that any voting process run by the WPSCT and/or the Crown that purports to be done in connection with the Tribunal or because of the Tribunal would be invalid and have no affect and the Crown must not give it any consideration or affect in the event it is attempted to be conducted, certified or declared and
d) confirm the alternative given in the Tribunal recommendation that the Crown terminate the mandate forthwith, and
e) declare itself to be functus officio and discharge itself.

It is hoped that a collision between our Hapu and your government may be avoided by Ministers taking the advice offered. Any decision on your part should be copied to the Tribunal promptly as this is an urgent matter requiring priority attention.

Naku noa na

Peter T Selwyn
Ngai Tamahaua Hapu Chair

Tracy F Hillier, Rita R Wordsworth
Wai 1781 claimants


September Hapu Hui

Nau mai haere mai

Our Hapu Hui – normally first Sunday of each month – was postponed for a week due to unforeseen circumstances and is now on this Sunday, 9th September, 10:30am at Opape marae.   Was advertised in last Thursday’s Opotiki News and will appear again in this Thursday’s edition. Arohamai for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Look forward to seeing everyone there.  Please bring a plate for a shared lunch.

Injunction of Waitangi Tribunal voting recommendation

Ngai Tamahaua claimants have joined Upokorehe claimants who are leading a judicial review of the Waitangi Tribunal Wai 2662 urgency findings in respect of the panel’s decision to recommend a vote/re-vote on a Treaty settlement mandate etc.

The next legal action connected to these proceedings is a hearing at the High Court in Wellington apopo (5th September) for an injunction to stop the voting process. The result should be known a few days afterwards and news of this will be posted here.

Ministerial inquiry into WMTB extended

The ministerial inquiry into the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board (regarding  governance and management and the 2017 elections) which is being conducted by Mr Heron QC has been extended by Hon Nanaia Mahuta to a final report date of 7 September 2018.  Comments and submissions regarding the draft report will be received up to 30 August.