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Mark Burton: Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Bill first reading

Mark Burton: Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Bill first reading

The Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Claims Settlement Bill will have its first reading in Parliament today.

The bill will settle the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngaa Rauru, based in south Taranaki.

"This is the third Taranaki settlement bill introduced by the Labour-led government," Associate Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton said. "This government has also settled the historical Treaty claims of Ngäti Ruanui and Ngäti Tama."

The bill provides for a $31 million cash settlement and the return of five sites of cultural significance, covering about 143 hectares. The settlement also includes a Crown apology to Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi for past dealings in breach of the Crown's Treaty of Waitangi obligations. "Taranaki iwi were seriously affected by the unjust and indiscriminate confiscation of their land by the Crown in the 1860s," Mark Burton said.

"Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi were also subjected to the Crown's 'scorched earth' policy and other military campaigns, resulting in loss of life and property. In one incident, government militia killed unarmed children.

"When passed, this bill will strengthen the relationship between the Crown and Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi and help us work together to help build a strong and confident nation. I hope it will also help heal the scars left by past injustices."

One of eight Taranaki iwi, Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi is situated between Patea and Whanganui. It has approximately 3000 members.

Two further historical Treaty settlement bills - for Ngäti Awa and Ngäti Tuwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) - are also before Parliament.

ENDS


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