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Ngâti Mutunga Deed of Settlement initialled

14 December 2004

Ngâti Mutunga Deed of Settlement initialled

The Crown and the Ngâti Mutunga Iwi Authority today initialled a Deed of Settlement for the iwi's historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

The deed outlines an offer that includes: cultural redress reflecting Ngâti Mutunga's relationships with places and sites owned by the Crown within their area of interest; commercial and financial redress worth $14.9 million; and acknowledgements and an apology from the Crown for historical breaches of the Treaty and its principles.

Cultural redress includes the transfer of 10 sites covering about 125 hectares of land with historical, traditional and spiritual significance. They include the Onaero and Urenui Domain recreation reserves.

"This offer ensures the continued rights of others who use the reserves," Margaret Wilson said. "Their transfer to Ngâti Mutunga is subject to the iwi preserving the recreation status of the reserves, the council's continued administration of them and the protection of third party interests.

"The ownership status of those with houses on the land will not change. Leases for the land occupied by these houses will have a perpetual right of renewal. Public use of the Domain land and access through the reserves will continue. Ngâti Mutunga will not have the right to sell the land."

The Crown confiscated all of Ngâti Mutunga's land in 1865, despite the iwi not being in rebellion against the Crown. A Royal Commission in 1927 found this land should not have been taken.

"The Crown accepts these actions were in breach of the Treaty," Margaret Wilson said. "It also accepts the harsh treatment of Ngâti Mutunga prisoners in the 1860s, and those imprisoned as a result of Crown actions at Parihaka in 1881, breached the Treaty.

"The offer of symbolic ownership is critical to effective final settlement of Ngâti Mutunga's historical Treaty grievances with the Crown and protects the rights of others who have an affiliation with the land."

After initialling, the Deed of Settlement will be subject to ratification by the people of Ngâti Mutunga. If ratified, it will be signed by both parties early next year and implemented through legislation.

ENDS


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