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Te Arawa ready to enter Treaty negotiations

02 April 2004 Media Statement

Te Arawa ready to enter Treaty negotiations

The iwi and hapu of Te Arawa – based in Rotorua – have joined together to negotiate the settlement of their Treaty of Waitangi claims, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson.

“With 40,000 members, this is the largest grouping ever to enter settlement negotiations."

The negotiations will cover approximately 100 claims lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations and Minister of Maori Affairs have recognised the mandate of Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa Executive Council to negotiate on behalf of Te Arawa.

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

The hapu and iwi of Te Arawa undertook an extensive mandating process, including 24 hui held between June and September 2003. The people of Te Arawa selected their representatives to a new “Kaihautu” structure. A smaller group, the Executive Council, was appointed from the Kaihautu.

"I congratulate the Kaihautu and its Executive Council, for their leadership in bringing their iwi and hapu together, so that all of the claims of Te Arawa can be negotiated. The Executive Council has demonstrated strong support from the iwi and hapu of Te Arawa to negotiate their claims.”

At this stage the negotiations will not cover the claims of three Te Arawa groups (Ngati Makino, Waitaha and Tapuika) who have not yet joined the negotiations.

"This government is committed to progressing the claims of all of the central North Island iwi.

We will be working with Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Tuhoe, Ngati Manawa and Ngati Whare to settle the claims in the central North Island, which includes significant forestry land, as quickly as possible."

Margaret Wilson says “Previous governments attempted small settlements in the central North Island but did little for the region as a whole. Now the Crown and iwi have a real opportunity to address all the historical grievances of these groups.”

“I am delighted with the progress that Crown and central North Island iwi have made. Settlements will help to build the foundation for better relationships between the Crown and central North Island iwi into the future”.

The next step for the Crown and Te Arawa will be to agree Terms of Negotiation, setting out the ground rules for how negotiations will be conducted.

The Te Arawa Lakes claim, which is already in negotiations, will continue to be negotiated separately.

Margaret Wilson said today’s announcement is a further illustration of the momentum being achieved in negotiating Treaty settlements.

Two weeks ago, she announced that another major Central North Island tribe, Tuwharetoa, were also ready to commence negotiations. Ngati Manawa and Ngat Whare are also ready to negotiate.

Tuhoe, which is in Tribunal hearings, has also had discussions with the Crown about negotiations.


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