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Ngati Tuwharetoa to enter Treaty negotiations

Ngati Tuwharetoa to enter Treaty negotiations

The Crown and Taupo-based Ngati Tuwharetoa are ready to start Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiations, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson.

The process of mandating Ngati Tuwharetoa representatives for the negotiations has been completed.

“I congratulate Ngati Tuwharetoa on its leadership and hard work in bringing its 30,000 members together for negotiations – one of the largest groups ever to enter negotiations.”

The Crown and Ngati Tuwharetoa will negotiate intensively to reach an agreement within two years on a Crown package to settle Ngati Tuwharetoa’s historical Treaty claims.

More than 50 claims lodged at the Waitangi Tribunal will be covered in these negotiations.

Margaret Wilson says: “I acknowledge Ngati Tuwharetoa’s efforts in seeking to address their grievances, which will clear the way for a stronger ongoing relationship between the Crown and Ngati Tuwharetoa.”

Negotiations with Ngati Tuwharetoa are part of a wider initiative by the Government and central North Island iwi to progress Treaty settlements in this region, which includes claims to the Kaingaroa Forest.

The Crown is also currently assessing a mandate submitted by Rotorua-based Te Arawa. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.

Margaret Wilson says she and the Minister of Maori Affairs are pleased to recognise the mandate of the Ngati Tuwharetoa Hapu a Iwi Waitangi Claims Forum to negotiate Ngati Tuwharetoa’s historical claims.

“The Forum has considerable support from the iwi and hapu of Ngati Tuwharetoa to carry the negotiations forward.”

The next step will be for the Crown and Ngati Tuwharetoa to agree Terms of Negotiation, which will set out the ground rules for how negotiations will be conducted.

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