RUAWAIPU The Traditional Tribe Of The East Coast  
Current Issues
  Issue No #1.   November 2009 For more info go to  
  TRONP Settlement Negotiations Tribunal Grants Urgent hearing For Opposing Tribes.  

In 2008, the Wai 272 Claimant (a treaty claim by Api Mahuika for and on behalf of TRONP) engaged with Dr Cullen (previous Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) to settle “all historical treaty claims” including Ruawaipu claims without the informed consent of Ruawaipu claimants.


An urgent hearing application was filed by Ruawaipu in October 2008, but declined by Judge Milroy in November 2008.

In December 2008 Judge Milroy stood down as Presiding Officer due to Ruawaipu claimant allegations of bias. On 6 January 2009 Judge Stephen Clark was appointed as the new Presiding Officer for the ECID. At a judicial conference held on 30 April 2009, Judge Clark granted leave to bring fresh urgent applications in regards to the settlement negotiations. In May 2009, fresh Ruawaipu urgency applications were filed by Kahurangi Law & Tamaki Legal. 

On 29 July 2009, Judge Clark considered the urgent hearing applications. In his directions dated 5 August 2009 Judge Clark directed the Crown, TRONP and applicants to first engage in Crown facilitated discussions to try and resolve the issues. On 29 September 2009 Api Mahuika wrote to the current Minister of Treaty Negotiations refusing to engage in facilitated discussions, to which he called an “affront”.

On 27 October 2009, almost 3 months after Judge Clark’s August directions, as a result of a lack of progress with facilitated discussions, Judge Clark granted an urgent hearing. The hearing is scheduled for 14-16 December 2009.

The Crown intends to introduce legislation to give legal effect to a $90 million deal in early to mid 2010. The legislation will block the Tribunal from inquiring further into Ruawaipu claims.

Ruawaipu want their story told, and view the monetary settlement as a sell out of tangata whenua tino rangatiratanga, and the extinguishment of Te Tiriti (not the Treaty) rights.

In the interim, CFRT are continuing to fund the Runanga in its settlement negotiations process. CFRT administrative and communications funding to assist the Ruawaipu Cluster ceased 31 August 2009. Funding assistance may change after the outcome of the urgent hearing.

The Ruawaipu claimants have decided to continue without CFRT funding, and in the interim have formed a Ruawaipu Claimant Forum to maintain standard communication between claimants and counsel.

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