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Ngati Whatua o Orakei negotiations

Ngati Whatua o Orakei negotiations

Ngäti Whätua o Orakei today signed Terms of Negotiation with the Crown.

The Terms of Negotiation set out the ground rules for negotiations and signal the beginning of the formal talks that will lead to the settlement of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims. Ngäti Whätua o Orakei will be represented in negotiations by Ngäti Whätua o Orakei Trust Board, chaired by Sir Hugh Kawharu.

It has been 12 years since the Crown and Ngäti Whätua o Orakei settled the grievances relating to the Orakei Block under the Orakei Act 1991, which saw land at Bastion Point returned.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson said the Auckland hapu and Crown have agreed it is now time to reach a final and comprehensive settlement of all outstanding Ngäti Whätua o Orakei historical claims.

“The rapid progress made in agreeing Terms of Negotiations makes me optimistic that these negotiations can be completed in a timely fashion, so that Ngäti Whätua o Orakei can further develop their social and economic potential.”

The signing of Terms with Ngäti Whätua is further indication of the momentum in negotiating comprehensive settlements throughout the country. Recent progress includes the first comprehensive settlement signed in the Bay of Plenty with Ngäti Awa. Terms of Negotiation were recently signed with Whanganui River claimants, and Ngati Kahu in the Far North will sign terms this month. Significant progress continues to be made in Taranaki, including the passage of the First Taranaki settlement (the Ngati Ruanui Claims Settlement Bill) into law yesterday. Margaret Wilson said the Government was committed to resolving Treaty claims, and to this end the budget would provide further funding of $5.58 million over the next four years to cater for streamlined processes and greater negotiations activity.

The extra resources are required to support the Government‘s expectation that there will be at least two settlements per year, and the fact that more iwi are entering or preparing for settlement negotiations.

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