On 9 October 1990, the first claim filed with the Waitangi Tribunal for Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua was registered and on 19 April 1993, the Amended Statement of Claim was filed. This claim was given the number Wai 166 and became the overarching Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua claim. The Statement of Claim included the signatures of nine claimants and alleged, among other things, breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi with respect to the Manawatū blocks, the Tautane block and the Mangatoro block. Just under a month later on 8 November 1990, the Waitangi Tribunal received a claim on behalf of Rangitāne o Wairarapa. This claim was given the number Wai 175 and became the overarching Rangitāne o Wairarapa claim.
The First Amended Statement of Claim was registered on 11 July 1997, and was followed by a Second Amended Statement of Claim on 27 August 1998. The Statement of Claim was signed by 13 claimants and alleged the Crown breached the Treaty of Waitangi with respect to land covering the area from the Hutt Valley River to the Mangahaoa River, across to Akitio, down to Cape Palliser to Orongorongo (Barring Heads) returning back to the Hutt Valley River.
The final Amended Statements of Claim for both Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua and Rangitāne o Wairarapa were filed with the Waitangi Tribunal in 2003.
The formal hearings took place between March 2004 and March 2005, where the Waitangi Tribunal heard evidence and submissions on a total of 17 claims, including those of both Rangitāne o Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua, as well as a number of whānau and single issue claims on behalf of Rangitāne.
The Tribunal Report
The Wairarapa ki Tararua Report was released in 2010. In the letter to the Minister at the beginning of the Report, the Presiding Officer, Judge Wainwright, noted a few key points that struck a chord with the Tribunal members, including:
- The historically complex and difficult relationship between Ngāti Kahungunu and Rangitāne;
- The severe loss of Te Reo Māori in the district;
- The vulnerability of the many important Māori heritage sites;
- The importance of recognising Māori rights in and around Wairarapa Moana;
- The rapid pace at which the Crown purchased significant tracts of Māori land, leaving the claimants virtually landless; and
- The ongoing struggles the claimants have in terms of being able to meaningfully engage and have any influence on what goes on in their district.
Despite the losses suffered by the claimants in the Wairarapa ki Tararua Inquiry district, the Tribunal made special mention of how the traditions of manaakitanga have remained strong.
Rangitāne Claims Collated Material
In the Rangitāne journey to settlement, a large number of documents have been prepared from the Waitangi Tribunal hearings through to the settlement negotiations process with the Crown. The information contained in these documents is invaluable and provides a Rangitāne narrative that is rarely found in one place.
We consider it important that these documents be available to all Rangitāne people and shared wider than that to tell the Rangitāne story.
The Trust has compiled those key documents prepared for the Rangitāne iwi-wide claims before the Waitangi Tribunal, together with key documents from the settlement negotiations (that are not confidential), into a hard copy publication comprising of 7 volumes.
The documents are available online.