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Ngati Tu ancestral land

28 o Hongongoi 2000 (July) Media Statement

Ngati Tu ancestral land

Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia met with whanau of Ngati Tu hapu of Nga Ruahine regarding the administration of Ngati Tu land.

"After discussions with the Minister of Maori Affairs he has agreed to review this situation, I will also be providing a report to the Prime Minister myself.

"This conflict goes back to the original land confiscations within Taranaki. I spoke in the House on Wednesday night about the negative effects of legislation on Maori, this situation is another example of that.

"This group have been in dialogue with the Government regarding the confiscation of their land. Too often Maori people are inappropriately forced into working within legal frameworks that do not compensate for the hurts of the past. These frameworks are often impersonal and cannot fairly reflect the pain suffered by the people of Nga Ruahine as a result of the land confiscations.

"The Crown normally sees the use of legislation as a means to arrive at a solution. In many instances however this does not work.

"The whanau of Ngati Tu belong to this land and I personally believe that it should be them who make the decisions. Existing legislation allows another body to make the decisions over their land. There have been 250 people trained in land management over the last three years in preparation for their whanau and hapu development.

"This Government is committed to ensuring that just laws and alternatives ways of arriving at justice are considered.

"What we need are principles of restorative justice which may mean considering indigenous forms of exercising the law to seek healing and reconciliation. While there is criticism of Parininihi ki Waitotara Inc, it is the law itself that has contributed in large part to the conflict that now exists between people who are related to each other," said Tariana Turia.

ENDS

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