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Quarterly Iwi Update 2022 – Issue #1

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“Te Kawerau a Maki and the Crown initialled a Deed of Settlement way back in December 2013. When the treaty claim was finally signed in November 2015, Te Kawerau did receive some cash. However, three of the main economic opportunities were held back from Te Kawerau. Despite being itemised in Te Kawerau’s treaty legislation and Te Kawerau paying for Riverhead Forest, the Riverhead Forest land has not yet been returned, Paremoremo land was held back, and Te Onekiritea remains in doubt. The Te Onekiritea debate has only recently been put back on the agenda for discussion with Crown agencies. Although Te Kawerau is hopeful that it will work through the issues with Crown and its agencies, it is not ruling out further legal action against them. Delays have caused major strains on Te Kawerau’s finances and its economic base.

Many people, iwi members and organisations have put in a lot of work to get the iwi to this point. Te Warena Taua himself, put in years of work researching the iwi’s history to help clarify the iwi’s mana whenua position and rights in Taamaki Makaurau. Without that devotion, Te Kawerau would not have been recognised as an iwi today. The iwi offered to pay Te Warena a percentage of the settlement. This was never taken up.

In the early days, the accountants and advisors of the time not only worked to help the iwi, they also put in their own money towards iwi costs in support of Te Kawerau’s claims. Therefore, Te Kawerau also wish to thank Ms Dianne Lee, her husband, Mr Tao (Martin) Li, and her company Tahi Enterprises Limited for their support at such a crucial time. Their help began eight years before the iwi concluded its treaty settlement in 2015. Had Dianne and her investors not helped when they did, it would have been far more difficult for Te Warena to achieve the settlement he did for all iwi members. Therefore, Dianne, Martin and the investors hold a special and fond place in our iwi’s history.

The future does look bright for Te Kawerau as a number of developers and financiers are keen to work with Te Kawerau to help shape up and fund pending opportunities. This gives Te Kawerau the development and financial capability to build a strong foundation for future mokopuna. We look forward to sharing more about those opportunities when due diligence is completed.“

Joint Memo to be published on the website.pdf117.02 KB