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Iwi disappointed at response to Petroleum Report

Media Statement Hon Tariana Turia MP for Te Tai Hauauru

Iwi disappointed at response to Petroleum Report: Turia

Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says iwi will clearly be disappointed at the government's response to the Waitangi Tribunal's report on petroleum claims.

The claims were brought by a number of Taranaki iwi, including Nga Ruahinerangi, Nga Rauru and Ngati Ruanui, together with others.

"The Waitangi Tribunal found the iwi used to own petroleum, and they retained a 'Treaty interest' because no compensation was paid when petroleum was nationalised in 1937 and the iwi lost any revenue from royalties, and because their land was confiscated, which was a major breach of the Treaty.

"The Tribunal also found that the Crown's share of the Kupe gas field, including royalties, should be available for settling iwi claims.

"At a recent hui, a prominent kaumatua of Nga Ruahinerangi told me that their people were murdered by Crown constabulary, and their land was stolen. He asked why Maori get no compensation when property is taken, whereas West Coast people got millions to compensate for the loss of forestry rights.

"Taranaki iwi were hoping the government would take into account the loss of their land through breaches of the Treaty, and agree to a settlement of their petroleum claims so the iwi can move forward into the future," she said.

"The legislation that passed through Parliament yesterday to settle Ngati Tama claims in north Taranaki shows clearly how land confiscations increased the impact of all subsequent losses.

"It is the same for the iwi of south Taranaki," said Mrs Turia. "Having lost their land, and the economic base it represented, any further loss of economic opportunity must be especially hard to bear.

"It must be devastating to have to sit by, watching the ongoing impact of exploration and extraction of petroleum and other minerals across Taranaki, without the iwi getting any direct benefit.

"I feel for the iwi, and I can understand their anger and frustration," she said.


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