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Another Treaty settlement milestone achieved

27 July 2004 Media Statement

Another Treaty settlement milestone achieved

The government and the Port Nicholson Block Claims Team (PNBCT) have achieved a significant milestone with the signing of the terms of negotiation covering historical claims to the Wellington region today.

Treaty Negotiations Minister, Margaret Wilson, today signed terms of negotiation with the PNBCT to negotiate in good faith for the durable settlement of their historical claims. PNBCT represents the descendants of Taranaki Maori in Wellington at 1840, who are known as Taranaki Whanui ki te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Taranaki Maori migrated to the Wellington area from the 1820s and established settlements in and around Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. The claims of Taranaki Whanui ki te Whanganui-a-Tara relate to land dealings by the New Zealand Company, Crown takings of Maori land for public purposes and the Crown’s failure to provide an adequate land base for them.

“These negotiations will give the Crown the opportunity to redress the harm suffered by Taranaki Maori in the Wellington area from actions of the Crown over the past 150 years,” Margaret Wilson said.

The Waitangi Tribunal’s report Te Whanganui a Tara me Ona Takiwa (2003) found that Crown actions within the Wellington area constituted Treaty breaches. The Tribunal report also recognised other iwi, including Ngati Toa and Ngati Rangatahi, have interests in the region. These claims will be negotiated separately.

Wellington claimants are the fourth claimant group to sign terms with the government this year. Yesterday, Moriori signed terms with the Crown. Te Arawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa are expected to follow suit in the coming months. More claimant groups than ever before have engaged with the Crown in order to negotiate Treaty settlements.

“Today represents yet another step along the road towards settling the vast majority of claims within the next ten to fifteen years.”

ENDS

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