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Ed Sheeran

Lone wolves threaten Whakatōhea settlement

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The chair of the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust says a Waitangi Tribunal claim against the trust’s mandate is a lone wolf attack that was never discussed with hapū the claimants say they represent.

Graeme Riesterer says he hasn’t seen one of the claimants, former crown minister Tuariki John Delamere at a hapū hui since the 1990s, and the other, Te Ringahuia Hata, is a regular at meetings of a different hapū than the one she is claiming for.

He says as the chair of Ngāti Patumoana he rejects their claim his hapū doesn’t support the trust mandate.

The crown’s investment in a new wharf for Ōpōtiki highlights the need to get the $100 million settlement done.

"Whakatōhea as part of the settlement process will gain more water space in which to continue to develop its mussel venture and so our aquaculture ventures, the jobs, and other investments that will come form this will have a huge benefit for Whakatōhea for generations to come," Mr Riesterer says.

While the Waitangi Tribunal is receiving claims from people who claim to represent a hapū, his the Whakatōhea Pre Settlement Claims Trust had to go through an extensive mandate process gauging both hapū and marae level support.

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