The Ngāti Whātuā o Kaipara Settlement Timeline

From colonisation to settlement

  • 1820 - Samuel Marsden visits the Kaipara

  • 1840 - Draft Treaty of Waitangi presented to Ngāti Whātua in the Kaipara

  • 1844 - 1865 Pre-emptive Waiver transactions, Crown Purchases and Native Land Court Sales reduce Maori Customary Land Occupation from 400,000 acres to 156,000 acres.

  • 1865 - 1910 Native Land Act 1909 and Public Works Act 1882 reduce Maori Customary Land Occupation from 156,000 acres to 36,381 acres.

  • 1987 - Lands Case in Court of Appeal cites Woodhill

  • 1992 - WAI 312 lodged by Takutai Wikiriwhi

  • 1995 - Crown Forestry Rental Trust funding

  • 1999 - 2001 Waitangi Tribunal hearings heard at Haranui Marae

  • 2002 - Mandate given to Claim Komiti to initiate negotiations

  • 2002 - Kaipara Interim Report from Tribunal

  • 2002 - 2006 Discussions with Crown fail to make progress

  • 2006 - Full Tribunal report received.  Application for Remedies Hearing with Tribunal lodged

  • 2007 - Discuss Governance Entity models with marae communities

  • 2008 - Begin negotiations with the Office of Treaty Settlements Minister Michael Cullen

  • 2008 - Further consultation with whanau

  • 2008 - Signing of Terms of Negotiation

  • 2008 - 2009 Working towards an Agreement in Principle with the Crown & establishing our own Governance Entity

  • 2009 - 22 December - Signed Agreement in Principle

  • 2011 - Deed of Settlement Signed

  • 2011 - Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara Development Trust and Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara Tari Pupuritaonga Trust inaugural meeting held

  • 2012 - Claims settlement bill enters parliament

  • 2013 - Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara Claims Settlement Act 2013

As Treaty partners the leaders of Ngāti Whātua believed they were equal partners to be recognised, involved and consulted in all matters, especially that of our land. The crown for their part agreed to provide welfare and protection, schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure in return for the sale of land to the government.

From 1844 to 1845, the Crown allowed direct dealings in land between settlers and Māori. A substantial amount of land bordering the upper Waitemata Harbour was alienated at this time. Regulations put in place by the Crown were not correctly applied and later investigations did not always protect Māori interests. All the while Ngāti Whātua continued to be assured by authorities like Governors Fitzroy, Grey and Browne, that the Crown would fufil all guarantees given in the treaty.


From 1848 to 1868, the Crown embarked on a substantial land purchasing programme in south Kaipara from Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara. While Crown agents stressed that the low prices offered would be off-set by the benefits promised of roads, hospitals and schools, these were either slow to arrive or not realised.

From 1864, the Native Land Court began hearings in south Kaipara. The awarding of land to individuals, rather than to iwi and hapū, made those lands more susceptible to partition, fragmentation, and alienation. Significant costs were also carried by Ngāti Whātua. By 1880, Ngāti Whātua were no longer selling land as a strategic move to promote development, but using it as a means of repaying debts and as a source of much-needed income.

Seeking equal participation for Mäori in central and local government the four Māori seats were established in 1867. These did not meet Ngāti Whātua expectations.

To encourage European settlement in the south Kaipara, Ngāti Whātua made lands available for public purposes, including 10 acres at Te Awaroa (Helensville) and land for the Riverhead to Helensville railway. The Crown did not adhere to all conditions accompanying these gifts, including returning those lands when they were no longer needed for the purposes given.

By 1900 only around ten percent of south Kaipara lands remained in Ngāti Whātua ownership. Much of this was sandhills or marginal country. Lands at Puketapu and elsewhere were also acquired by the Crown for sand-dune reclamation purposes.


In 1906, the last substantial area of land remaining in Māori ownership in south Kaipara, the Ōtakanini block, was compulsorily vested in the Tokerau District Māori Land Board without consultation with the owners. This denied the owners any meaningful role in the administration of the land for fifty years. Leases over the block were not properly administered and upon the return of Ōtakanini block in 1958, the owners carried significant burdens.

Poor economic circumstance forced many Ngāti Whātua to move to Auckland and other urban centres in search of work, particularly from the 1950s onwards. Living conditions for those who remained in the south Kaipara resembled rural slums.

The Crown failed to monitor the ongoing impact of land purchases on Ngāti Whātua and, by the 1940s, Ngāti Whātua had been rendered virtually landless. This, and the cumulative effect of the Crown’s breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, has significantly undermined the tino rangatiratanga of Ngāti Whātua, their economic and social development and physical, cultural and spiritual well being, with effects that continue to be felt to the present day.

In the case of Ngāti Whātuā o Kaipara in its journey to reclaim its identify and rightful assets, we have a large collection of taonga that our team is currently working through to archive for the benefit of our people. A small part of the collection will be publically available, and the rest will be held privately or on application access only in accordance with our taonga and archiving policies. Here we are only able to provide a brief summary of the historical context which cannot capture the essence of the time and efforts of those who fought for the recognition of Ngāti Whātuā o Kaipara.

We acknowledge the tireless efforts of the mandated claims Kōmiti members who led the claim through to the settlement and the whānau who walked alongside throughout.

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