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Wellington Treaty negotiations take shape

28 January 2003 Media Statement

Wellington Treaty negotiations take shape

The resolution of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims in the Wellington area has moved closer today, with the Crown recognising the mandate of iwi representatives who will negotiate a settlement.

The Port Nicholson Block Claim Team (PNBCT) represents the descendants of Taranaki iwi in Wellington at 1840, who are known as Taranaki whänui ki te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Taranaki iwi migrated to the Wellington area from the 1820s and established settlements around the harbour, Waiwhetu, Kaiwharawhara and at Te Aro Pa, situated around present day Courtenay Place.

The claims of Taranaki whänui relate to land purchases by the New Zealand Company, Crown takings of Mäori reserved land for public purposes and the Crown failure to provide an adequate land base for Mäori.

The Waitangi Tribunal’s report Te Whanganui-a-Tara me ona Takiwa (2003) found that Crown actions within the Wellington area constituted Treaty breaches.

Following the Tribunal report, PNBCT undertook 12 national mandate hui. During these hui, overwhelming support was demonstrated by the claimant community for the PNBCT to be their mandated representatives to negotiate a settlement.

The Tribunal report also recognised other iwi, including Ngati Toa, have interests in the Wellington area. These claims will be negotiated separately.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson said a settlement will give the Crown the opportunity to redress the harm suffered by Taranaki iwi in the Wellington area from actions of the Crown over the past 150 years.

“The next step will be the signing of Terms of Negotiation. This will set out the ground rules for how negotiations will be conducted. We will be working together to reach settlement within two years from now,” Margaret Wilson said.

ENDS

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