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First settlement in the Bay of Plenty signed today

First settlement in the Bay of Plenty signed today

The signing of a Deed of Settlement between the Crown and Ngati Awa marks the acceptance of the first comprehensive Treaty settlement in the Bay of Plenty, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson said today.

Iwi in the Bay of Plenty were significantly affected by Crown confiscation of land in the 19th century and the settlement with Ngati Awa makes important progress in addressing historical grievances in the region, she said.

“Ngati Awa suffered confiscation of a significant part of their rohe and, eventually, became virtually landless.

“The ratification of the Crown settlement offer by the members of Ngati Awa is a sign that they believe the settlement will give them the opportunity to move forward, develop a wider economic base and play a stronger part in the wider community.”

Ngati Awa is not the only iwi in the region making progress towards settlement. Ngati Tuwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) is currently completing a ratification process for a Crown offer that will settle their historical grievances, Margaret Wilson said.

Ngati Awa, of the Mataatua waka, has 13,000 members, and is centred in Whakatane in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The Deed of Settlement signed today includes a Crown Apology for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, cultural redress which includes the transfer of seven sites of significance to Ngati Awa and a combination of cash and Crown-owned land of $42.39 million.

The Deed of Settlement is now subject to the ratification and establishment by Ngati Awa of a governance entity to receive and manage the settlement assets and the passage of the settlement legislation. Further, the signing of the Deed of Settlement is conditional on the outcome of the Court of Appeal proceedings filed by the Tuhoe-Waikaremoana Maori Trust Board.

“It is my hope we can work quickly through these final stages so the settlement redress can be transferred to Ngati Awa,” Margaret Wilson said.

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