Makino was born in the middle of the 16th century. A woman of repute who later in life became a great leader of her people. Makino was schooled in the houses of higher learning of the Te Arawa people. She followed in the foot-steps of her father, the renowned warrior Kawiti. Makino married Te Rarereiao of Waitaha. They had seven children, who are the founding ancestors of Ngati Makino. Makino led numerous war parties in battle against neighbouring tribes, many of whom fell to the might of Makino and her people.
Makino worked to build up the strength of her people. This is evidenced by the many cultivations around the Rotoehu and Rotoma areas, stretching forth to the coastal settlements.
Because of her outstanding leadership qualities and noble birth, Makino was able to forge alliances with tribes beyond the Te Arawa confederation. At one stage she took up residence at Kakepuku, a mountain near Te Awamutu, belonging to the Ngati Unu hapu of Ngati Maniapoto. Makino took another husband from that place, cementing stronger ties to outside iwi.
After having children to her second husband, Makino returned to the land of her birth and there took a third husband, thereby reinforcing tribal links to other hapu and iwi within Te Arawa.
Her tribal lands stretch from Maketu through to Te Awa o Te Atua then back in land to Rotoma across to Rotoiti and back out to the coast of Maketu.
The Treaty settlement process for Ngati Makino has been, at the least, a long one. Kawana Te Kirikau first initiated our claim in 1992 after being informed that a neighbouring Iwi were lodging a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal that could see the lands Ngati Makino has mana whenua over, alienated.
A committee was formed to oversee the claim with the support of administrative staff, legal advisers and researchers. In 1997 the Ngati Makino claimant community mandated the Ngati Makino Heritage Trust to negotiate a settlement of Ngati Makino’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.
The hard work and dedication of this team saw Ngati Makino sign Terms of Negotiation with the National party’s Treaty Minister Sir Doug Graham in 1998. Following the signing of those Terms of Negotiation, National we’re voted out of Parliament with Labour taking their place and consequently all negotiations ceased, despite Ngati Makino’s efforts to engage with the Crown.
In 2004 and again in 2005, the Waitangi Tribunal acknowledged that Ngati Makino had suffered prejudice as a result of the Crown’s delay in negotiating with them, recommending Ngati Makino’s unique circumstances required they be prioritised in any Central North Island negotiation.
On the 21st of February 2008 Ngati Makino Heritage Trust and Waitaha entered into joint terms of negotiations with the Crown. March 2008 saw the driving group of the Ngati Makino uri achieve recommencement of negotiations with the Crown. The 7th of April 2008, the Crown re-confirmed the mandate of Ngati Makino Heritage Trust to negotiate on behalf of Ngati Makino iwi.
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