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Historical Signing of Wai 692 claim

Media release
EMBARGOED UNTIL MIDDAY OCTOBER 3, 2008.

Historical Signing of Wai 692 claim

Tungia te ururua, kia tupu whakaritorito te tupu o te harakeke.
Translation: Burn the over-growth to enable the flax to bring forth new shoots.

Friday 3rd October 2008 is an historical occasion for the seven hapu of Ahuriri as the Deed of Settlement to their contemporary claim, Wai 692, is signed by the Claimants, the Crown and Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

The Wai 692 claim was lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal on January 27, 1998, following Health Care Hawke’s Bay’s decision in 1997 to consolidate hospital services in Hastings.

The three claimants Pirika Tom Hemopo, Takuta Hohepa Mei Emery and the late Hana Cotter alleged the Crown breached Treaty principles in both historical and contemporary times by failing to provide for the health and well-being of Ahuriri Maori.

The Deed of Settlement signing on Friday October 3, relates to the contemporary aspects of that claim, which provides the claimants with the resources to provide targeted health services in Maraenui, Napier.

Claimant spokesman Tom Hemopo said it had been a long hard road of negotiations, arguments and frustrations but the signing marked a happy day for the hapu of Ahuriri.

The resources provided from the settlement would enable the claimants to work towards establishing a quality health service for the people of Ahuriri”, he said.

The signing of the Deed of Settlement was the first claim signed for Ngati Kahungunu and was of huge significance to Iwi, he said.

“Our age old custom of face-to-face meetings, the fact that our whakapapa (genealogy) does not divide and rule but that it unites and allows us to talk to and respect one another, supported the process to completion.” Mr Hemopo said.

Mr Hemopo said it was a collective result for the benefit of many.

Kaumatua Ruruarau Heitia Hiha said the significance of the signing was a memorial to all of our tipuna (ancestors).

“Though some of our elders have passed on their legacy remains; we have worked side by side with the Crown and the District health Board so the benefits will spill amongst us all,” he said.
Ends


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