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Te Arawa lakes Deed of Settlement signed

Te Arawa lakes Deed of Settlement signed

The Crown and the Te Arawa Mâori Trust Board will today sign a deed providing for the settlement of Te Arawa's historical lakes claims and remaining annuity issues, Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said today.

The signing follows the initialling of the Deed of Settlement in October 2004 and its subsequent ratification by the people of Te Arawa. The Deed of Settlement signed today will see the transfer of 13 Rotorua lakebeds to the Te Arawa Maori Trust Board.

The settlement includes: acknowledgements by the Crown of historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles; a cultural redress package reflecting Te Arawa’s relationships with the lakes, including transfer of 13 lakebeds; and financial redress of $10 million.

"The people of Te Arawa and the Rotorua lakes area now have certainty that Te Arawa’s historical lakes claims have been settled and that public access to the lakes will continue," Margaret Wilson said.

"More than 93 per cent of Te Arawa voted in favour of the settlement. Thirteen lakebeds will transfer to Te Arawa, but the Crown will continue to own the water column and airspace above the lakebeds. This agreement will strengthen the relationship between Te Arawa and the wider community and demonstrates how Treaty settlements can help us build a strong and confident nation."

"I wish to congratulate Te Arawa in reaching this historic milestone. This settlement acknowledges the special relationship Te Arawa have with these lakes while at the same time providing for continued public access. Importantly this settlement also resolves outstanding annuity issues," Parekura Horomia said.

The financial redress element of the offer includes $2.7 million for historical claims. The remaining $7.3 million is to buy out the annuity paid to the Te Arawa Mâori Trust Board and resolve any outstanding annuity issues.

The Deed is now conditional on the establishment of a governance entity to receive and manage the settlement redress and the passage of legislation giving effect to the settlement, expected by early 2006.

The Deed of Settlement is available online at http://www.ots.govt.nz.

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