Ngā Tāngata Tiaki
He pūkenga wai, he nohonga tāngata, he nohonga tāngata, he putanga kōrero
Where there is a body of water, people settle, and where people settle, histories unfold
On 5 August 2014, at Ruakā Marae in Rānana, the Crown and Whanganui Iwi signed Ruruku Whakatupua, the deed of settlement for the Whanganui River.
Ruruku Whakatupua was the culmination of well over a century’s effort by the Iwi to protect and provide for our special relationship with the Whanganui River in the face of adverse acts by the Crown and its agents.
The signing of Ruruku Whakatupua was a momentous day for the Iwi; signalling the Crown’s recognition for the first time of both the Whanganui River as an indivisible and metaphysical whole and the inalienable relationship between the iwi and hapū of Whanganui and Te Awa Tupua.
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui is the post-settlement governance entity for Whanganui Iwi for the purpose of the Whanganui River Settlement and was established on the 4th of August 2014.
What we are talking about here is the river in its wholeness, Te Mana, Te Mauri, Te Ihi, Te Tapu, Te Wehi; its waters, its fish, its bed, its water life, its tributaries and the tino rangatiratanga of the iwi of Whanganui over the river held by them since first occupation, never ever relinquished and repeatedly asserted.
Sir Archie Te Atawhai Taiaroa (Ngāti Haua),
Chair of the Whanganui River Māori Trust Board 1991 - 2010,
evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal in the Wai 167 claim
The original Whanganui River Claimants. Back row, from left to right: Kaiwhare Kiriona, Tanginoa Tapa, Tekiira Peina, Tonga Tume, Hohepa Hekenui, Henare Keremeneta. Middle row: Te Rama Whanarere, Hekenui Whakarake, D G B Morison, Titi Tihi, Ponga Awhikau. Front row: Taka-te-iwa Anderson, Kahukiwi Whakareke. Ref: PAColl-24 Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand