Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust (Te Mana) says it is pleased to have received Crown approval for the results of a vote by iwi members to establish a new Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE) to continue Treaty settlement negotiations for Ngāti Rangitihi.

In a letter received today from Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon Andrew Little, and Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, the Crown acknowledges that the ratification process was robust, allowed for full participation of members, and the results showed sufficient support from the Ngāti Rangitihi voting population.

Chairman Leith Comer says the Ministers’ approval is good news for the iwi.

“We were confident we had fulfilled the Crown’s criteria, but it’s great to now get confirmation so we can continue to negotiate towards settlement for our people,” he says.

The voting involved a four-week process, with results received on 8 July 2019 showing 92.16% of valid votes cast in favour of establishing a new Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi PSGE and Trust Deed.

Voters also supported resolutions to approve the new PSGE continuing settlement negotiations (92.47%) and to appoint the current Te Mana trustees as initial trustees for the new PSGE (88.15%).

Mr Comer says the next step for Ngāti Rangitihi will be to hold a Special General Meeting in September, where iwi members will be asked to approve the transfer of assets to the new Te Mana PSGE and dissolve the existing Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust.

“Our new Te Mana PSGE will then take on the mandate to negotiate our Ngāti Rangitihi settlement,” he says.

“It’s an exciting time for our people as we get close to completing our negotiations.”

Mr Comer says the iwi intends to initial the deed of settlement by December 2019, for its members to vote on in the first quarter of 2020.

“We are urging all Ngāti Rangitihi descendants to register with us now,” he says.

“We are at a really crucial time in our settlement journey and we want all our whānau to vote on this important kaupapa.”