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Previous News Articles

Posted 31 January 2018

Owners seeking the return of Lake Waikaremoana after 100 years

In 1918 the Native Land Court determined the owners to Lake Waikaremoana. In 2018 their descendants have chosen to fight to have their land returned to them.

The statement of claim, lodged by Vern Winitana in the Wellington High Court recently      (22 December 2017) is attached below along with the list of the original owners in 1918.

If you descend from one of the named owners, you are invited to join in this challenge and fight to secure your land back, in your hands.

You can do this simply by registration on this website;  and for all regular updates – join the ‘Lake Waikaremoana Owners’ Facebook page.

Keep connected to both social media platforms for regular updates on the progress of this litigation and how you can participate.

(Key Documents)

Statement of Claim:    LAKE SOC doc dec2017

1918 List of Owners:   Lake owners 1918


Posted 30 November 2017

Te Tatau Pounamu o Waikaremoana (TTPOW)
(November 2017) Updates:

TTPOW Leadership Group members meet with Genesis Energy at recent consultation hui.

On Thursday 23rd November 2017, Genesis Energy held a consultation hui at Whakamarino Lodge, Tuai. Members of TTPOW Ngati Ruapani ki Waikaremoana Leadership Group met with Rosco McDonald (Genesis Energy) seeking assurances that a relationship is re-established and continued between TTPOW & Genesis. Rosco has given an undertaking to action a hui with TTPOW Ruapani Leadership Group in near future.


TTPOW Ngati Ruapani Representative appointment to Te Matāwai Regional Panel (Mataatua Region)

On Saturday 25th November 2017, Jennifer Takuta-Moses was nominated onto the “Te Matāwai Regional Panel” for the Mataatua Region – as the Ngati Ruapani iwi representative.

This hui was held in Tauranga and attended by Jennifer and other TTPOW Leadership Group members in support of her nomination. There were nine people nominated to assist with the establishment of this newly formed regional panel.


Posted 25 October.

Hui for Ruapani Descendants:   Review of Trust – Te Kopani 31, 32, 33, 35 Lands

Hui to be held at Wkakamarino Lodge, Tuwai, Waikaremoana
Saturday, October 28, 10 am

To review Trust and elect new trustees

For more information contact:  V.Winitana (Mob – 021 180 4214)


Posted 10 October 2017

Who are Stats NZ?  Unleashing the power of data to change lives

Stats NZ’s purpose is to empower decisions by adding value to New Zealand’s most important data.

Two years ago, Ngāti Ruapani, along with other iwi groupings, commenced working towards recognition as an iwi in the official government statistics. Recently Stats NZ completed a preliminary classification standard to bring life to this project.  

Maori generally always consider our total whakapapa, but many of you will know that other tribes have claimed that we are a strong hapū of theirs in the past, the most prominent being Ngāti Kahungunu and more recently, Ngai Tuhoe.  

Based on tikanga, kawa and whakapapa, Ruapani is an ancestor with clearly a different whakapapa to both. Both the Waitangi Tribunal and the Crown have recognised our Iwi status.

It is how we view ourselves that matters most.

Ngāti Ruapani have always considered ourselves as an Iwi entity, with Marae, papakāinga, land, lakes, rivers, urupa, tikanga, kawa and whānau. Our Ngāti Ruapanitanga cannot be subsumed by anyone.

When the next census is placed before all New Zealanders in 2018, we can all register as Ngāti Ruapani for the very first time alongside any other iwi we whakapapa to.


Posted 10 October 2017

TTPOW Leadership Group progress with Tuwai issues

At previous Ngāti Ruapani hui various issues have been placed before tribal members and the leadership have progressed these with the entities involved.

Items such as :

  • potable water from the springs
  • the sewage ponds in the village and waste material including broken motor vehicles, scattered around the village, are of concern to both residents and visitors alike. The Wairoa District Council have been asked to look into all these concerns and report back via the Maori Committee of Council.
TTPOW and Maungapohatu: Rua Kenana Statutory Pardon 

TTPOW leadership will represent all Ngāti Ruapani at Maungapohatu on Saturday 9th September 2017, when the Crown offers its apology to the whanau affected by their actions almost 100 years ago.

Over 70 Soldiers and other support militia invaded Maungapohatu and two men, Rua Kenana’s son and Te Whiu were shot dead. No inquiry was held and no action taken against those responsible. The Tuhoe settlement did not attempt to resolve this claim and the whanau were forced to settle this matter directly with the Government. To their credit the Government led by Ministers Flavell and Finlayson deliberated and negotiated a pardon that the Whanau have accepted. Ngāti Ruapani have whanau who were affected by this action and fully support all parties for their common sense solutions.


Posted 18 July 2017

Ngati Ruapani land owners possibilities

TTPOW are very pleased with the efforts of Trustees of our lands to secure a Whenua Maori Fund grant from Te Puni Kokiri, of  $ 56,000, to produce a Land Use Assessment Report for our remaining lands.

The funding is used primarily to engage specialists in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, housing, aquaculture, infrastructure, honey production, renewable energy and the like. These specialists will produce a cogent report to better inform owners and Trustees on the way forward and the long term sustainability of our land.

TTPOW will seek feedback from Ngati Ruapani tribal members and their views on this topic at future meetings and specific wananga called to explore all possibilities.

The Trustees leading this development are pleased with progress and advisors have been selected. Advisors are to meet with Trustees shortly.

We will do our best to keep all Heiotahoka and Te Kopani 36/37 land block owners updated on this matter and future developments with our soon to developed section on this website, dedicated to Ngati Ruapani Land matters.

Waikaremoana Reserves

Trustees of Mokau, Te Maara A Te Atua and Hopuruahine Reserves, located on the shores of Lake Waikaremoana have agreed to consider a motion to remove these Reserves from their Trusteeship .

To do so correctly, they have called for a Hui at Tuwai for all owners on:

Saturday July 22, commencing 10am.

Owners in these three Reserves will have an opportunity to offer their views. It is intended that the Trustees will then forward their findings to the Maori Land Court. We urge all owners to attend.

Waikaremoana Tourism

Whilst the Road closure of SH 38 between Wairoa and Murupara has been closed for some timedue to storm damage and land slips the lack of road traffic has been a disaster for visitors to the Te Urewera Park. Recent weather has also prevented occasional blockages of the road between Wairoa and Tuwai. Notwithstanding these challenges, TTPOW, in conjunction with regional Tourism operators, will host mini workshops to explore this potential sector in September 2017.

Ngati Ruapani Hui in Te Teko

Following a very well attended hui in Te Teko the TTPOW Kaumatua Kaunihera grew with the inclusion of 7 more kaumatua appointed by whanau under the leadership of Tumanako Waiwai. Directors are astonished at the high calibre of kaumatua now assembled by Tumanako and his team.

Kia Hiwa Ra – kia Hiwa Ra 

Posted 20 June 2017

Lake Waikaremoana Reserves

Owners of Te Maara A Te Atua Reserve and Mokau Reserve will meet at Te Kuha Marae, Saturday June 24, commencing 9am sharp.

Two agenda items will be tabled to be determined by the owners in two separate meetings.

1.  The removal of the Reserve from Te Roi O Te Whenua

2.  Filing of an application to the Maori Land Court to the formation of a new Trust of the owners and appointment of Trustees.

Te Maara A Te Atua Reserve Hui will be held  first, followed by Mokau Reserve.

Only owners or whanau trust representatives in these two Reserves will be permitted to speak and vote at these two hui.

If you are unable to attend please send your apology to:

If you have further queries please ring Mob :  021 180 4214. Vern Winitana

Kaumatua Kaunihera – Upcoming Hui

Posted: 6 May 2017

Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana ‘Kaumatua Kaunihera’  have two upcoming hui:

(Rotorua)  Taharangi Marae

  • Saturday 27th May   (Start 10am – 12:30pm)
  • 26 Tarewa Road
  • (Bring a plate )

(Wairoa) Hinemihi Marae

  • Sunday 28th May (Start 10am)
  • Ruataniwha Road, Te Wairoa

For more information about these two upcoming hui, please contact:

Tumanako Waiwai     (Email) :   or

Aubrey Kohunui           (Email):


Posted: 30 April 2017

Chairmans Update – Activities to Date

Activities over the past 18 months we have focused on building high levels of trust and better communications  amongst Ngāti Ruapani whānau, a connection back to their land, with detailed information and a sense of unity and purpose towards the goal of securing a mandate and settling all claims with the Crown.

Our kōrero with our people  have focussed on:

  • Ngāti Ruapani Whakapapa
  • Developing Ngāti Ruapani Tikanga
  • Caring for our Marae and;
  • Providing a safe forum for opinions to be voiced
  • Information supplied at Hui have been to educate and communicate the current position of Ngāti Ruapani progress since the last unsuccessful attempt to secure a mandate in 2012/2013. We have aimed to seek further support for TTPOW and provide a strategic vision based on what tribal members have communicated to us.

Activities include:

  • TTPOW have held 17 Hui over the last 24 months, with various Ngāti Ruapani whānau & hapū groupings. These Hui have contributed to providing a clearer understanding for our members and beneficiaries, about the treaty settlement process.  We have conducted Hui in the following locations:
  • Waikaremoana
  • Te Whāiti
  • Rotorua
  • Ngongotahā
  • Gisborne
  • Whakatāne
  • Hastings
  • Wellington
  • Auckland
  • Waiohau
  • Taupō
  • Te Teko
  • Ruatoki
  • Ōpōtiki
  • Wairoa

In some cases we have visited these areas more than once.

In 2017, Rotorua, Wairoa, Wellington, Christchurch, Taupō, and Auckland are scheduled for major Hui.

Development of an Iwi Registration Database:

These series of Hui have given confidence to more than 900 Ngāti Ruapani individuals and whanau to register online with us and we are happy to announce this number is growing rapidly!!

Closer analysis of our registered members has helped us to identified areas where many of our people now reside. For this reason, we have conducted roadshows to visit face to face  with our people, and present our past and present journey, as well as discuss and plan for our future with our iwi input.  The registration process has been important and has allowed us to identify many of our Ngāti Ruapani people with skills, experience, qualifications and passion for Ngāti Ruapani aspirations.

Development of key communication tools – Website, Facebook page, Development of Quarterly E-Newsletter:

TTPOW have two very busy media platforms:

  1. Our Website:
  2. Our Facebook page ‘Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana’

A new quarterly e-newsletter is currently being developed, to be distributed to our membership to keep them informed of all developments and issues concerning Ngati Ruapani ki Waikaremoana.  This will be distributed at all future Hui in 2017.

Formation of Kaumātua Kaunihera

Our Kaumātua Kaunihera was formed in early in 2016 as a result of request from tribal leaders. This rōpu is coordinated by Tūmanako Waiwai and he is the key contact for this group. Our Kaumātua  are responsible for checking whakapapa, confirming registrations and providing guidance, advice and direction to the leadership group and its Directors.

Ngāti Ruapani Ki Waikaremoana Limited

Te Tatau Pounamu o Waikaremoana Leadership recently appointed four directors to our legal entity ‘Ngāti Ruapani Ki Waikaremoana Limited’.  It is envisaged that this entity and these appointed Directors will manage Ngāti Ruapani progress, activities and aspirations to settle our outstanding treaty claims.

Current Directors:

  • Jenny Takuta Moses (Co-chair)
  • Aubrey Kohunui (Co-chair)
  • Richard Tumarae
  • Sharon Cooper

(More are to be added in 2017)

These directors have worked hard to become more familiar with the claims process, existing Ngāti Ruapani Waitangi Tribunal Claims and grievances lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal and more contemporary issues facing our people. The Directors are working very closely with the following Wai Claims:

  • Wai 144
  • Wai 937

Working to Unite Ngati Ruapani – ongoing challenges and work to be completed:

The Directors are very keen to foster and engage in positive talks with other Ngāti Ruapani marae, hapū and claimants; particularly Te Toi Kura o Waikaremoana (whom we acknowledge and recognize as the other legitimate entity representing other Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana  Wai claims). We are keen to work together to form a single, strong, united entity to represent Ngāti Ruapani interests.

The Directors have attempted to engage with Te Toi Kura o Waikaremoana on three occasions in the last 15 months, to invite them to hui, with the aim of discussing ways to unite and form a single entity. Unfortunately these invitations have been declined for various reason, but TTPOW are very keen to keep an open door towards working and communicating with Te Toi Kura o Waikaremoana at this time.

The Directors have had visits to various different sites of significance throughout Ngāti Ruapani’s tribal boundaries, and have met directly with tribal leaders from adjoining tribes for overlapping claim issues. The Directors are looking closely at relationships to sites of the highest significance to Ngāti Ruapani, issues of national importance (water and energy concerns) and ‘Te Urewera’ itself.

The Directors have also considered contemporary matters facing the two marae communities at Waikaremoana. They are building positive working relationships with the Wairoa District Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Tairāwhiti District Maori Council, Hawkes Bay Tourism, Eastland Trust, Genesis and other regional and community stakeholders.

Forging our way forward

The TTPOW Leadership group believe we are not required to be solely dependant and/or bound by  government processes or treaty settlement to foster our own wellbeing.

We can do many things now!  With our own initiative and resources, we can achieve positive outcomes for our whānau, hapū and iwi.

Our current efforts are funded from our own pockets! The valuable koha of time, energy, money and resources of many individuals and whānau have been greatly appreciated and we would like to acknowledge you all for your contributions to help get us to this point.

The leadership group and our Directors are very happy with progress made in the last 12 months, with most goals being achieved and planning is well underway and advanced for even bigger gains in 2017.

Kati au I konei

Aubrey Kohunui (Co-Chair)


Calling for Expressions of Interest for Ngati Ruapani Iwi Representative to HBRC Planning Committee

The Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana Leadership Group (Te Tatau Pounamu o Waikaremoana) are seeking Expressions of interest from amongst it’s registered membership, to support and nominate  a suitably qualified iwi member to this position with the Hawkes Bay Regional Council – Planning Committee.

For more information, click on the link below:

2017 04 20 Ruapani HBRC Iwi Rep Info


TTPOW Recent Hui – Sunday 19th Feb 2017

The recent Te Tatau Pounamu o Waikaremoana (Hui-a-iwi) held this past week, received great attendance and participation of over 45 whanau members gathering at Te Kuha Marae.

TPPOW delivered a presentation and facilitated korero , which included the following topics:

  • Who is Te Tatau Pounamu o Waikaremoana?
  • TTPOW Wai  Claimants:
    • Vernon Winitana (Wai 144) Ruapani Treaty Claims Journey (1986-2017)
    • Trainor Tait & Shirley Herewini (Wai 937)
  • Dr. Rapata Wiri (Historical  and contemporary Treaty issues affecting Ngati Ruapani)
  • TTPOW Leadership: Aubrey Kohunui, Richard Tumarae, Jenni Moses (TPPOW Present day status, structure, registrations,  hopes and aspirations for whanau of Ngati Ruapani ki Waikaremoana.

The day was made special, with whanau returning to join the hui, after camping out on their respective lands up around  Lake Waikaremoana for a couple of days.  They shared their wonderful experiences camping around the lake, and inspired many other whanau to consider doing something similar with their own,  and particularly focussing on reconnecting our rangatahi to their whakapapa and whenua.

Everyone participated in a shared lunch, which provided a great opportunity to whakawhanaungatanga.  The hui was a great success and TTPOW are already working develop a future calendar of events, and exploring wananga opportunities to build and grow our ‘Ruapanitanga’.

For more details or to get more information on upcoming hui – please contact:TTPOW Secretary:  Jenni Moses:

 Upcoming Hui

Te Tatau Pounamu o Waikaremoana Committee are meeting to discuss all updates and matters regarding Ngati Ruapani mandating progress:

Sunday 19th February 2017, (10am), Te Kuha Marae, Waikaremoana

For more details or to register apologies – contact:

Section 45  Application Hearing

28th June 2016 (10am) Wairoa

(Supporting Presentation of Section 45 Application by Robyn Zwaan,  Freshwater & Geothermal Inquiry)

This case involves and is largely focussed on the meaning of “Owners”.

In 1918 the Maori Land Court gave Lake Waikaremoana to a specific list of owners.  Those owners later set up 2 trusts that were representative of Ngai Tuhoe and  Ngati Kahungunu tribal people.

The two Trusts then split the lake amongst themselves in representative shares based on the owners and which Iwi they belonged to.

In 1971 the lease was formalised into an Act, being the Lake Waikaremoana Act 1971. The preamble of that Act indicates that the Trust Boards shall administer rents form the lakebed on behalf of the beneficial owners. It did not transfer the ownership of the lakebed to the Trusts though.

The two Trust Boards are the Tuhoe Waikaremoana Maori Trust Board (Tuhoe ) and the Wairoa Waikaremoana Maori Trust Board (Kahungunu)

In 2000 Judge Savage made a finding that “the use of the word ‘owners’ in the Lake Waikaremoana Act 1971 is not used to indicate a continuing relationship but for convenience and clarity…” Therefore Judge Savage found that the Trusts are the owners of the Lakebed.

The WAI 144 Claim enabled Ngati Ruapani tribal people to be recognized as having an equivalent standing into Lake Waikaremoana as Ngai Tuhoe and Kahungunu as tribal entities.

The Savage J decision was challenged by Vern Winitana (Kathy Ertel) Frederick Timutimu and George Morrell (Paul Harman) and reviewed via a process of filing a Section 45 application. This is an application where we say the Maori land court has made a mistake or error and the applicants wish to have that mistake rectified.

The issue is now whether or not the meaning of owners from the Lake Waikaremoana Act 1971 was meant to be just the owners and their descendants as listed in the original judgment, or is it wider to include all the beneficiaries of the Trusts.

Our position is that the word owners should be given its natural meaning, being just the descendants of the original owners, and should not include the wider definition of the all beneficiaries.

For more information or if you wish to speak in support of this application please contact Mr. Vern Winitana – directly by separate email, your full name, phone contact and email address, so we get you onto the speakers list.

Vern Winitana (Claimant – Wai 144)
Email:      Phone: 021 1804214

For more background information on this Section 45 Application – click on link below

Section 45 handout 2016 06 04

learn more

To help TTPOW Limited compile a register of the descendants of Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana.

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