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Maori Land Trustees Sign Compo Deal with Govt.

Rakiura Maori Land Trustees Sign Compensation Deal with Government.

A Heads of Agreement between the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and chairman of the Rakiura Maori Land Trust (RMLT) Graham Lloyd , giving owners $10.9 million, in return for the land being managed as if it were a National Park, was signed today.

Mr Lloyd said after intensive negotiations with the government, the trustees believed they had a deal for owners to consider.

Essentially the agreement will mean the owners will be paid $10.9 million for 3661 ha – in return the area will be managed as if it were a National Park. Ownership will still rest with the owners and management of the area will be in partnership with the Department of Conservation.

“However it must be remembered that the owners have the final say on this deal and we will be meeting with owners throughout the country, during the next few weeks to allow them to make a decision on whether to accept the offer ,” Mr Lloyd said.

“In 1906 this land was originally given to provide our people with some measure of economic benefit after some promises made to southern Maori by government ,in the mid 1850’s, were not kept. However the cynical government of the time gave Maori what was then some of the most worthless land in the country.”

“Today’s agreement recognises the value of the land and acknowledges that the owners must be compensated for the past wrongs. It also recognises that RMLT have provided excellent stewardship of this land and have managed to retain its very high conservation values for the past 20 years.” Mr Lloyd said.


ENDS

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