4 Sep 2012

Horowhenua iwi closer to entering Treaty negotiations

6:35 am on 4 September 2012

The Muaupoko Tribal Authority is closer to being able to go into formal Treaty of Waitangi negotiations with the Crown after the majority of its members voted to give them the mandate to go ahead.

The small Levin-based iwi was the predominant tribe in Horowhenua, Kapiti Coast and Wellington before the arrival of Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Toa Rangatira and Te Atiawa in the 1820s.

Nearly all of the tribe's land was taken from them by Ngati Raukawa through conquest, and then by the Crown.

The tribe has not been able to negotiate any Treaty claims because it needed a mandate from iwi and then have that acknowledged by the Crown.

The authority's chief executive says his iwi has just finished a public consultation process around their Treaty mandate strategy at several hui and is happy with the results.

Steve Hirini says out of the 150 submissions the authority received, 146 were in support of them having the mandate on behalf of the iwi.

Mr Hirini says they are now waiting for the Crown to officially recognise that so they can move forward.

Muaupoko is one of the last iwi in New Zealand to go through a pre-mandating process to become mandated body to negotiate its Treaty claims with the Crown.