Status: For immediate release
Date: 10 January 2020
Subject: Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Clarifies Position On Ōwairaka Issue
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa wishes to clarify its position on the protests at Ōwairaka to clear up any confusion around our involvement in the matter.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa is the mandated representative iwi entity for Ngāti Awa established under our Settlement Act 2005 to receive and administer our Treaty of Waitangi Settlement with the Crown.
Our Settlement with the Crown was led by Ngāti Awa kaumātua and endorsed by iwi members of Ngāti Awa by postal ballot in 2004/2005.
As per our legislation, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa represents the twenty-two (22) hapū of Ngāti Awa who elect a hapū representative to Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa every three years.
Further, our legislation sets out that Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa acts for and on behalf of ngā uri o ngā hapū o Ngāti Awa, being the members of Ngāti Awa in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
The Ngāti Awa area of interest as set out in our Settlement legislation is from Waihi Estuary near Maketu in the West to Ōhiwa in the East and inland towards Rotoiti, Tarawera, and Taneatua.
Iwi members of Ngāti Awa can freely express their opinions and perspectives as they choose, however, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa confirms that our authorised spokespersons are the Chair Dr Hohepa Mason and Manahautū (CEO) Leonie Simpson.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa supports tangata whenua to make the best decisions for their taonga, lands and waters in their rohe, and we are open to discussions with appropriate iwi entities on this matter.
Consequently, we will not be making any further public comment on Ōwairaka at this time.