The WAI 175 journey so far

//The WAI 175 journey so far
The WAI 175 journey so far2016-10-25T06:08:01+13:00

The Wai 175 claim passed a significant milestone on 28 March 2014 when the Rangitane Settlement Negotiations Trust signed an Agreement in Principle (AIP) with the Crown.
Please see this post to learn more about the AIP.
Read below to follow the journey thus far.

WAI 175 is the name given to the Waitangi Tribunal recognised claim for Rangitane people in the Wairarapa.

The claim was first lodged in 1989 by Jim Rimene and Piri Te Tau on behalf of the natural descendants of the tipuna Rangitāne who whakapapa to Wairarapa whenua.

In general terms, our claim district runs from Kawakawa (Palliser Bay) in the south to the Manawatu Gorge in the north and from the ridgeline of the Tararua Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east.

Piri & Tina at Ragitāne o Wairarapa

Piri & Tina

The Claim

Our claim is based on breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi by the Crown since 1840 that have impacted on the social, economic and cultural development of Rangitāne o Wairarapa. In particular, we have stated that:

  • The Crown applied sustained economic pressure on Rangitāne o Wairarapa in the 1840s and 1850s to sell their land. This means that the transactions that followed were not ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ arrangements.
  • The Crown purchased large tracts of land from Rangitāne o Wairarapa in the period between 1853 and 1860, but it failed to:
    • make adequate reserves for our contemporary and future needs;
    • fulfil its various promises for schools, hospitals, and other benefits; and
    • pay adequate prices for the lands it purchased.
  • The Crown continued to purchase the lands of Rangitāne o Wairarapa throughout the 19th century. It used the Native Land Court to individualise tribal titles to land, and then applied pressure to individuals to sell their land interests. By 1900, only 5% of land in Wairarapa remained in Maori ownership.
  • Rangitāne o Wairarapa people experienced significant economic and social deprivation in the 20th century as the result of landlessness.
  • The Crown failed to actively protect the tribal identity of Rangitāne.

Claims and Research 1990s

Some 30 odd separate claims were lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal here in the Wairarapa. These varied from an iwi Claim, through to hapū and individual whānau claims.

A lot of research was carried out through the 1990’s and early 2000s to determine the extent and severity of loss or impact that the Crown’s actions had on the tangata whenua in the Wairarapa. The research resulted in a number of reports and publications which are accessible in the local library.

Judicial Conferences begin 2001

In 2001 the Waitangi Tribunal first arrived in the Wairarapa. Judge Carrie Wainwright was tasked with overseeing the Inquiry and on the first day of the first Judicial Conference, Judge Wainwright agreed to the suggestion that Tararua district be included in the Wairarapa Inquiry. This action immediately made the Wairarapa ki Tararua Inquiry the second largest by land area behind the Ngai Tahu Inquiry.

The Judicial Conferences are where the Crown can determine whether there are overlapping claims that can be bundled together and if claimants are the legitimate people speaking to the Crown.

This part of the process took at least 18 months to determine who was who.

The Tribunal made a strong statement that they were keen to identify big clusters of claimants or large-natural groupings as the Crown would want to be dealing with the least number of claimant communities. From this, two large groups emerged, they were a Kahungunu led group and a Rangitāne led group.

Rangitāne Rohe

Waitangi tribunal map

Waitangi tribunal map

Click on map to see larger

The rohe for the Rangitāne claims take into consideration the traditional boundaries for both Rangitāne o Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua.

The rohe therefore starts in the north at Umutoi on the Ruahine Range, following the northern boundary of the Ngamoko block (Manawatu River) through to Poroporo on the coast, north of Cape Turnagain (Te Aho a Maui). The boundary follows the Pacific Ocean coastline south to Owahanga, Mataikona, Rangiwhakaoma, Motukairangi, Te Unuunu, Kaihoata, Awhea, Pahaoa, down to Makirikiri a Kupe (Cape Palliser),

it then continues west to take in Kawakawa, Te Kopi, Onoke Moana around to Turakirae Head, then on to Orongorongo to the mouth of the Heretaunga river (Hutt) crossing over to Totara Park and heads north in a straight line to the Tararua Ranges, along those ranges to Hāmua, Te Apiti (the Gorge) and then back to the starting point at Umutoi.

Rangitāne Claimants

Below is a list of Rangitāne claimants included in the RSNT Mandate

Wai 166 Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua
Wai 175 Rangitāne o Wairarapa
Wai 171 Tautane and other Blocks
Wai 420 Mataikona A2
Wai 770 Karaitiana Te Korou Whānau
Wai 943 Ngāti Hore
Wai 1008 Anaru Whānau
Wai 1568 ROTNAR (Southern Hawkes Bay)
Wai 1634 ROTNAR (Te Ahu a Turanga)

The Trust’s mandate encompasses all historical claims of Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua and Rangitāne o Wairarapa which have not been registered with the Tribunal.

The Trust acknowledges claims of individuals; whānau and hapū noted above and is committed to representing these claims effectively as part of their settlement negotiations with the Crown. Although the Trust is the mandated body who will negotiate and settle these claims, the Trust is committed to consulting with the claimants it represents as appropriate and will keep those claimants updated as to the progress of the Rangitane negotiations.

Rangitāne hapū and marae

There are a number of hapū and marae that have Rangitāne affiliations with the Rangitāne area of interest. Where possible and where necessary, the Trust has tried to acknowledge where there are associations other than a Rangitāne one.

Rangitāne merely seek to outline the Rangitāne interests in these hapū and marae without undermining any other interests there. The basis of these Rangitāne interests have been explained fully in evidence before the Waitangi Tribunal and held by Rangitāne kaumātua as oral traditional history.

Te Oreore marae

Te Oreore marae

Rangitāne o Wairarapa hapu

Ngāti Hāmua Ngāti Te Hina
Ngāti Tamahau Ngāti Te Whatui
Ngāti Te Raetea Hinetearorangi
Ngāti Matangiuru Ngāti Te Noti
Ngāti Tangatakau Ngāti Taimahu
Te Hika o Papauma Ngai Tukoko
Ngāti Te Atawha Ngāti Meroiti
Ngāti Te Whakamana Ngāti Hinetauira
Ngāti Tauiao Ngāti Moe

Rangitāne o Wairarapa marae

The affiliated marae are: Te Oreore marae; Te Rangimarie marae, Papawai marae and Hurunuiorangi marae


In 2004 just as the iwi were grieving the loss of tribal elder Kuki Rimene, the full Tribunal panel arrived in the Wairarapa. The panel consisted of Judge Carrie Wainwright, Dame Margaret Beazley, Professor Wharehuia Milroy and Dr Ranginui Walker.

Nine hearings were held across the inquiry district from June to September 2004.

The WAI 175 hearing was held at Te Oreore Marae over two days with a number of speakers talking on key areas of the claim including – loss of identity, coastal, waahi tapu, resource management, history and whakapapa.

Following the Claimant Hearings the Crown lawyers gave their evidence to the Tribunal Panel. The Hearings finished in March 2005 and we were told that the Waitangi Tribunal Report would be available a year later.

Waitangi Tribunal Report

There was wide spread frustration amongst iwi/hapū claimants after the report was delayed for a year, then another and then another.

The Claimants wrote to the Judge to determine when the report would be completed. We were given a final date of 2010.

The Tribunal hands over their report

The Tribunal hands over their report

Click on image to see gallery

In June 2010 and in torrid winter weather the Tribunal returned to Te Oreore marae to hand their report over to each claimant group. The Tribunal explained that they had taken extra-ordinary lengths to provide a comprehensive report that would lead to a better negotiation with the Crown. The three-volume report justified the extra-attention by the panel.

Catherine Nesus – Director of Waitangi Tribunal noted that the loss by Wairarapa ki Tararua tangata whenua was almost absolute and the ongoing effects to loss of identity, culture, te reo and land was tantamount. The report clearly confirmed the grievances claimed by iwi/hapū.