May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Central North Island Iwi Collective marks Historic Milestone

4 min read


I riro whenua atu me hoki whenua mai.
As land is taken, so it should be returned.

In a historic milestone, the eight iwi who make up the Central North Island Iwi Collective celebrated the end of a key phase of their development by announcing the completion of the Mana Whenua process and the ratification of the Final Allocation Agreement.

The journey to this moment has been long and not without loss, so while the CNI Iwi Collective looks forward to a prosperous future, we must acknowledge those who are no longer with us yet were instrumental in helping to achieve our aspirations, said CNI Iwi Holdings Chairman, Matt Te Pou.

Our deepest respect and gratitude to Bill Bird, Henare Pryor, Dixon Chapman, Rawiri Te Whare, Stephen Asher, Robert Taylor and Butch Powhare along with the countless others who have passed on. Moe mai moe mai moe mai rae ngaRangatira.

The process of working together over the last six years has made the CNI Iwi Collective stronger and more unified. We hope it will lead to a deep and lasting partnership which continues to bring benefits to all our members, said Mr Te Pou.

The Mana Whenua process was unique in its own right explains Mr Te Pou, Nothing like this had been done before. It was a ground-breaking settlement in 2008, with unique structures and ambitious plans put in place. Our framework has allowed us to create a robust foundation on which to grow.

In particular, the mana whenua process to determine which Iwi belongs to which areas of land was unprecedented.

Key Outcomes

  • Of the 23 blocks vested in the company, the mana whenua of 4 of the blocks hasalready been agreed to between the Iwi;
  • 10 blocks are still to be negotiated by Iwi to determine how to recognise mana whenua over these blocks;
  • 9 blocks (the Kaingaroa forest, and approximately half the settlement lands) were referred to an adjudication panel by unanimous agreement of the eight CNI Iwi.

Moana Jackson, Wayne Ngata and Tahu Potiki were asked by the eight Iwi to adjudicate over the 9 land blocks and all three agreed to work with the Iwi on this unique kaupapa, from December 2013 to June 2014.

The Iwi have all had immense respect for the Panel, said Mr Te Pou. All Iwi members know that the process has been fair. All Iwi have had the opportunity to put their korero on the table and be heard, and now the adjudicators have made their decision.

The final allocation agreement for the Central North Island forests land is effective from 1 July 2044. Meanwhile the company will continue to manage the land and receive and distribute the income from the land to the eight Iwi according to their agreed proportions until 1 July 2044.

Since 2008, when the Settlement was agreed to, we have all faced challenges – not only the company directors but also our Iwi members. Those challenges have not beaten us, and we have all become stronger and more determined to safeguard these Taonga. Ultimately, its been about understanding how effective collaboration can lead to successful partnerships.

Having witnessed this process, I’m inspired by what our Iwi can achieve when they are committed to working together, said Mr Te Pou.

For interviews, please contact the nominated spokespersons below:

CNI Iwi governance entity Name Telephone
Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust Scott Campbell 021 426 342
Raukawa Settlement Trust Jon Stokes 027 612 2095
Te PumautangaoTe Arawa Trust Alan Skipwith (Chair) 027 490 5724
Tuhoe – Te Uru Taumatua Tamati Kruger (Chair) 07 312 9659
Te Runanga o Ngati Whare David Carson (Chair) 07 366 5399
Te RunangaoNgati Manawa Trust Peter White (Chair) 027 282 2249
Te ManaoNgati Rangitihi Trust Graham Pryor (Chair) 027 595 1098
Te Komiti NuioNgati Whakaue Anaru Te Amo (Chair) 022 014 2034
CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd Matt Te Pou (Chair) 027 474 9408

Summary of Central North Island Iwi Collective

  • The Central North Island Iwi Collective (CNI Iwi Collective) comprises Ngati Whare, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngai Tuhoe, Raukawa and the affiliate Iwi of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa.
  • The settlement agreement between the Crown and the CNI Iwi Collective included a tikanga-based resolution process to determine the allocation of the Central North Island forests land to the Iwi on the basis of mana whenua.
  • The Collective established the CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd. The core functions of CNI Iwi Holdings isto receive, distribute and safeguard these assets on behalf of the Iwi. This is funded by the land income before distributions to the Iwi.
  • In July 2009, 176,000ha of Central North Island land was vested in the Company, as Trustee, on behalf of the eight Iwi and the Crown. The land was returned is currently rented out to commercial businesses under agreements called Crown Forest Licences (CFLs) which are rental agreements between the Collective and the owners of the trees planted on the land.
  • According to the settlement signed by the Crown and the eight Iwi, the company CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd will hold the rights to manage the land and receive all income generated from all the lands for 35 years after settlement.
  • The CNI Iwi Collective have their own land management company to manage the Central North Island forests land for the 35 year period.
  • The land management company reports to the CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd board of directors ensuring the land is maintained at optimal value and giving optimal returns.
  • The company will make distributions to each of the Trust beneficiaries in accordance with their agreed proportion for 35 years after settlement, and after that the final allocation agreement terms will apply.
  • For the first 6 years the Crown is also a beneficiary.
  • There are 16 company directors, 2 per Iwi and also 1 Crown Observer.

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