The Board is pleased to advise that significant progress has been made on the last major issues for our settlement over the last few months. Excellent outcomes have been achieved by the negotiation team on key matters to the great benefit of the iwi. We expect to be able to shortly finalise the last elements of the Deed of Settlement (which is the formal legal document which sets out the redress and how we will receive it) between Hineuru and the Crown.

It is with great pleasure therefore that we hope to initial this Deed of Settlement with the Crown later this month. This is a significant milestone and the result of intensive negotiations with the Crown.

What is initialing?

The Ngati Hineuru Iwi Inc mandate was to negotiate the best settlement we thought we could achieve and when we had got to that point ensure that all the details are set out in a draft Deed of Settlement. The Board now considers we will shortly be at that point. We believe we have negotiated the best settlement for Hineuru possible at this time.The initialling is to confirm that both parties – NHII and the Crown consider that the deed is now at a point when the iwi must consider if they will approve it. The Deed will be given provisional acceptance by being initialled by the negotiators but you as a member of Hineurumust give your approval for it to become binding.

It is now up to the iwi to decide whether you agree that we should sign this Deed to accept the settlement package.

For this settlement to be finalised, the outcome of this vote must show that there is clear support from Hineuru. This process of seeking the formal support of the iwi is known as “ratification”. This panui is to explain to you the steps to complete this process.As the Minister will be away on the business overseas this month and is extremely busy in the lead up to the September election, it has been difficult being able to finalise a time to have the initialling with the Minister. Consequently it has been proposed by officials that the deed is initialled by the Board and the Minister separately so that we can bring the proposed Deed out to you as soon as possible.

Ratification process

Once the Deed is initialled, we will be travelling around the country to discuss the settlement with you, and to seek your approval and vote to ratify our Deed and the proposed settlement governance body. We will be holding a series of information hui throughout the country to explain the settlement package and the Deed. We encourage all those of Hineuru descent to attend the hui and ask questions at the hui.

All registered adult members (aged 18 years or older) who can whakapapa to Hineuruthrough her first marriage to Kiripakeke are eligible to vote. Registered members who turn 18 years old during the voting period are also eligible to vote.Approval or support is sought through a confidential ballot (vote). The outcome of the voting process will determine whether or not the settlement package has been approved and whether the Deed can be signed. The voting process must be run by an independent returning officer.

More details about this process, which must follow the Crown approved process, will be advised closer to the time on our website and by a postal mail out. Once the settlement is ratified, we envisage having a large signing of the deed of settlement either at Te Haroto or at Parliament. Where this will take place has not been decided but more information will come out regarding this in due course.

Progress with negotiations

Since December we have been working very hard on finalising aspects of the Deed of Settlement. We outline aspects of our negotiations for your information.

Recognition and relationship agreements

We have finalised all of the relationship agreements with the Crown agencies including the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. In particular, we have negotiated, and the Crown has agreed, that Hineuru receive acknowledgement of our tipuna that passed away on Wharekauri (Chatham Islands) in the 1860s.

It has been agreed that a memorial will be erected in remembrance of those tupuna. This memorial will be erected in discussion with other affected iwi whose tipuna were also exiled to Wharekauri. This is another step for Hineuru in reminding the Crown of the atrocities that our tipuna suffered and for our people to also remember those who were embroiled in such a turbulent time in our history.

Historical Account, Crown Acknowledgments and Apology

The work on these accounts is almost complete. An update will be circulated shortly.

Woodstock Station

We have negotiated the potential purchase of Woodstock Station in two parts. Together the whole farm was very rigorously negotiated to a very favourable transfer value of $7,230,000. The two parts are valued accordingly:

Area Agreed market value
Forestry Area $3,050,000
Farming Area $4,180,000

This purchase does not include 198 ha of farm land (including parts of Titiokura range) that will be gifted back to Hineuru under the settlement at no cost.

The first part of the station is the forestry area which, on the basis of expert forestry advice, we can confirm would be a financially sound stand-alone acquisition.

The price for the second part of the property (the farming area) has been negotiated and Hineuru has until the end of July 2015 to decide whether we will purchase that property. At this stage, we still need to ensure this will be a sound investment. Landcorp has indicated that they do not want to lease the property from Hineuru if Hineuru decide to purchase the farming area. We need to ensure an economic return possible from this land before committing to purchase it. The deferral of this decision was considered to be the most prudent approach. As this is not only an economic decision, we are working very hard on pursuing the options to try and ensure that we can prudently purchase that property.If it is decided that Hineuru are not in a position to purchase the farming property, Hineuru will still receive the 198ha gifted area and the forestry block on Woodstock station.

Esk Forest

We have negotiated the purchase price for Esk Forest. The agreed value, after a rigorous valuation and negotiation is $3,550,000. This was a very favourable price. It is also approximately $1 million less than the accumulated rentals we will receive on the transfer of the property under the settlement. Therefore, we gain $1 million in the process for the purchase of this forest. Additionally, we will not need to pay any of our quantum for this land as this will be covered by the accumulated rentals.

Hineuru PSGE

We have received your feedback on the PSGE and thank your for your considered views. We will very shortly be notifying our Hineuru people of what the future structure will look like along with some background information on PSGE as a pre-cursor to our hui around the country. However, we would like to announce that the Board has considered, and has named the post-settlement governance entity; Te Kōpere o te iwi o Hineuru Trust. More information on the name will be provided in our panui on the PSGE.

Next steps

Keep your eyes out for our new look website. Further panui will be posted there. We continue to work very hard and can say we are nearly there. As we get closer, we remember the sacrifices made by all Hineuru whanau and rangatira to get us to this position and look to the future of Hineuru in excitement.

Mai Hineuru, mo Hineuru

Tuhuiao Kahukiwa – Chair