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TE KARAKA

Volume 1: Te Tīmatanga o Te Kerēme WAI 27, lodged by Henare Rakiihia (Rik) Tau

Stephen O’Regan then Maurice Pohio phoned me, stating that as Chair and Deputy of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board they had resolved to ask me to be the person to lodge the Ngāi Tahu Claim under the Treaty of Waitangi Act for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi that prejudicially affected Māori. This was in May 1986. O’Regan was working for the Conservation Department at the time, so that had eliminated him from being a claimant. I accepted.

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Te Tīmatanga o Te Kerēme WAI 27

In 1986 my father, Rakiihia Tau, filed the Ngāi Tahu Claim to the Waitangi Tribunal. The hearings began at Tuahiwi in August 1987, initially at Rangiora High School, and then, as the grind of hearings began and tribal members returned to work, they were held on the Tuahiwi Marae itself.

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Settlement Pēpi

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the settlement of Te Kerēme – the Ngāi Tahu Claim. Since then Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has continued to grow alongside a generation of rangatahi who enjoy the opportunities our tīpuna dreamed of – or not.

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The Ngāi Tahu Treaty Settlement Negotiation with the Crown: Key players and background

In August 1986 Henare Rakiihia Tau, on behalf of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board (NTMTB), submitted a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal about the government’s announcement that it would transfer Crown land interests to State-Owned Enterprises. Ngāi Tahu and Māori across the country were worried that after the government privatised land and assets they would become unavailable for transfer in future Treaty settlements. Over the following year-and-a-half, seven further amendments to their statement of claim were made that set out the grievances arising from land purchases and the lack of reserves provided by the Crown, and the loss of access to food-gathering areas (mahinga kai), including both sea and inland fisheries. Tau was the Deputy Chairman of the Trust Board, and the Upoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri. Tā Tipene was the Chairman of the NTMTB, and he and Tau formed an effective partnership in leading the Ngāi Tahu claim in the 1980s.

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