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Constitutional Review

Very early in the negotiation the whanau whānui of Heretaunga Tamatea were not happy with the framework proposed for the post-settlement governance entity.  Although clearly aware that its prescriptive nature was a Crown requirement,  Heretaunga Tamatea sought an undertaking that the framework would be revisited once the negotiations were completed and the redress received.
Clause 24 of the Trust Deed made provision for an evaluation to be undertaken within two years of the settlement date, that is by 20 August 2020.

Anchor 1

Evaluation Working Group

The Constitutional Evaluation Working Group (the Team) commenced its work by hosting a series of Whare Kōrero hui where the Team would hear submissions in relation to the constitutional framework for the Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust (HTST). 

Specifically the objective was to co-design a tino rangatiratanga-based framework that would recognise the cultural and collective ways of Heretaunga Tamatea.

Individuals were also encouraged to make submissions, along with marae, whanau and HTST trustees and staff.

Constitutional Review Meeting

Emerging Issues

Emerging issues of the constitutional review were:

  1. Voters should be able to vote for all Marae representatives where the voter could show their connection to the marae through whakapapa;

  2. One single election every three years is preferred, now that the Trust has had time to settle in to post-settlement governance;

  3. The size of the HTST Board (currently 23) should remain until collective of Marae advise of their preferred groupings should this be different, 

  4. HTST should adopt a new name to show unity;

  5. Other marae should be able to join HTST and be represented;

  6. Partnership arrangements should be developed with other entities that serve the Heretaunga Tamatea whanau;

  7. A separate entity should be explored that provides for commercial development but ensures sufficient direction from the mandated trustees;

  8. Explore a charitable entity that will support and reduce HTST’s tax exposure.

Constitutional Review
Next Steps

The Evaluation Working Group proposed the following next steps for the Constitutional Review in the Constitutional Review Report released to members in February 2021.

Structural Flow Chart

Further engagement with members took place in 2022. Marae cluster hui were held to update members about the Constitutional Review and to seek the continued input of members on Constitutional arrangements. Following this second phase of engagement, the Board endorsed the following:

  • A change of name for the Trust;

  • the establishment of a Taumata Kaumātua;

  • the development a Kawenata for Heretaunga Tamatea to sit alongside the Deed of Trust

  • the enhancement of strategic relationships;

  • minor changes to be made to the Deed of Trust; and 

  • to take further time to consider the matter of additional marae.

Achievements to date include:

  • A Special Resolution to make minor changes to the Deed of Trust, approved by members in 2023. These changes included:


  • A change of name for the Trust to Tamatea Pōkai Whenua;

  • The introduction of multiple electorates so whānau can register and vote for all Marae they whakapapa to;

  • Shifting to a single-set of tri-annual Trustee elections.


  • An asset holding entity called Heretaunga Tamatea Pou Tahua Limited Partnership was established on 1 July 2023.


  • A charitable entity called Heretaunga Tamatea Charitable Trust has been submitted to the Charities Commission with a decision expected by the end of June 2024.


  • The Taumata Kaumātua was established in 2023 and provides advice to the Trust on matters of kawa, tikanga, whakapapa and dispute resolution. They will contribute to wider policy and the proposed Kawenata or Charter for Tamatea Pōkai Whenua.


Ongoing workstreams are:

  • The development of the Kawenata for Heretaunga Tamatea;


  • Database re-design and re-registration process;


  • Progressing and formalising strategic relationships;


  • Developing a process for the consideration of additional marae.

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