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First Far North Treaty agreement signed

Mon, 13 Sep 2004

First Far North Treaty agreement signed

This agreement is the first of its kind for the Far North

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Te Aupouri and the Crown have agreed in principle to redress settling all of Te Aupouri's historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson said today.

"This agreement is the first of its kind for the Far North," Margaret Wilson said. "Since the release of the Waitangi Tribunal's Muriwhenua report in 1997, the Crown has been keen to get Far North claims settled. The intensive effort of recent years is now paying off."

The offer includes: · acknowledgements and an apology from the Crown relating to historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles; · a cultural redress package reflecting Te Aupouri's customary interests; and · financial redress totalling $12 million. Te Aupouri will be able to purchase at least 35 per cent of the Aupouri State Forest with the financial redress. This purchase will also entitle Te Aupouri to accumulated rentals from the forest land.

Te Aupouri is one of the five generally recognised iwi of the Muriwhenua region in the Far North. Their claims relate principally to the Crown's treatment of pre-1840 land transactions, pre-1865 land purchases by the Crown, the operation of the native land laws, and 20th century land administration.

The parties signed an Agreement in Principle in Auckland this morning after Te Aupouri negotiators confirmed their iwi's support for the settlement at a hui in Te Kao last weekend.

Further negotiations will focus on the Crown acknowledgements and apology, cultural redress and commercial properties to be included in a settlement. A detailed Deed of Settlement will be drafted upon agreement of these details. Once Te Aupouri negotiators and the Crown initial the deed, it will then be subject to ratification by the people of Te Aupouri. The deed will be signed by both parties and implemented through legislation after ratification.

ENDS

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