The Story of Mangatu is a story of success and celebration.
Despite difficulties and disputes, our forebears have managed the 45,000 hectares in our collective possession and stewardship with devotion and diligence. The land has gone from fragmented control and leasehold farm management to a level of unified, prosperous and profitable corporate control, which today is respected and envied.
Records of the Incorporation reveal a history of people caring for people, of a people whose land was always a means of maintaining their roots and their identity as well as a source of food and funds for their tribal good.
The original Mangatu land consisted of 65,026 hectares and was partitioned into six blocks. The Maori Land Court claim for ownership began in 1881 when Wiremu Pere lodged a claim for the right of ownership in the names of the Wahia and Ngariki hapu. There were grievances between the owners for what seemed like many years. Then in 1917, as a result of financial problems, Mangatu Trust lands were placed under the control of the East Coast Commissioner. A year later the Whanau a Taupara people succeeded in their campaign to have the names of 173 Taupara people added to the list of owners. It took another twenty-nine years of Commissioner control and further argument over administration before Mangatu Blocks Committee of Management became legal administrator of the Incorporation in 1947. Despite the strife this was a period in Mangatu Blocks history when the creation of a unified farming operation took place.
There are hundreds of references in the minutes of meetings of trustees and management committees showing the compassion and the concern of the Mangatu guardians for their people – our 3,000 shareholders, their predecessors and their descendants.
Gifts for the benefit of the shareholders have been diverse, however communal support is common to the minutes of virtually every year since incorporation in 1893 and remains as important today.