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Final Debts Settled

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Whanganui MP Jill Pettis announced today that the Crown has contributed $50,000 to the Wanganui District Council's legal costs incurred in relation to Moutua Gardens/Pakaitore.

Helen Clark and Jill Pettis said the payment recognised that the Council had incurred significant legal costs over the year's since the occupation of Moutua Gardens/Pakaitore in 1995.

"The Crown has made this contribution because a major reason for the lengthy nature and high legal cost of the dispute was the blanket refusal of the Crown, in the form of the previous government, to become involved in the settlement process.

"It was only when the current government became involved and accepted some responsibility for resolving the dispute, that a settlement became feasible.

"That culminated in the moving ceremony in Wanganui in February when the Crown, the Whanganui iwi and the Council together signed the agreement establishing Moutua Gardens/Pakaitore's new ownership and management," Helen Clark and Jill Pettis said.

Ends

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