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Agreement in principle reached over Auckland claim

Friday 9 June

Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board today signed an agreement in principle with the Crown to settle all their outstanding historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

The Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board has been negotiating with the Crown since May 2003. This agreement in principle covers Ngati Whatua o Orakei's outstanding claims in central Auckland, the bulk of Waitakere, the North Shore and a small part of Manukau. The claims included in these negotiations relate to the loss of Ngati Whatua o Orakei lands throughout the nineteenth century and the loss to Ngati Whatua o Orakei of their mana whenua (customary authority).

"This agreement in principle is a significant milestone for Ngati Whatua o Orakei and the Crown," said Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Mark Burton. "The agreement is a major landmark, which will address historical grievances in the Auckland urban area."

"The agreement in principle includes significant cultural redress with the transfer of One Tree Hill Domain, part of Mount Eden, Mount Roskill, and the Purewa Creek Stewardship Area to Ngati Whatua o Orakei. These sites will be managed jointly with the Auckland City Council as public reserves. Public access and use of the sites will be protected by legislation. Similarly, current leaseholders' rights and interests of third parties will be protected."

In 1991 the Crown settled the claims of Ngati Whatua o Orakei arising from the loss of lands at Orakei in Auckland (including Bastion Point).

"As a result of the 1991 settlement, Ngati Whatua o Orakei and the Auckland City Council successfully manage Bastion Point Reserve (Takaparawhau) for the use and enjoyment of the public of Auckland. This approach served as a useful example in negotiations for today's agreement," Mark Burton said.

"Auckland City Council has played a key role in negotiations over the future management of the Auckland cones. The existing positive relationship between Ngati Whatua o Orakei and the Auckland City Council was an important foundation for these discussions.

"Total financial redress will be $10 million, which includes $2 million already received by Ngati Whatua o Orakei as redress for the 1993 Railways settlement. Ngati Whatua o Orakei will also receive the right to purchase $80 million worth of Crown-owned land on the North Shore, which will be leased back to the Crown. Ngati Whatua o Orakei will also receive a Right of First Refusal to purchase at market value surplus core Crown land in central Auckland."

The settlement package negotiated also includes an agreed historical account and Crown acknowledgments of its breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

"New Zealanders can be proud that such grievances are being recognised and addressed in a peaceful and constructive way," Mark Burton said.

"Over the past three years we have seen six deeds of settlement reached following on from agreements in principle.

"Currently, the Government is in negotiations with over 20 groups, covering several hundred claims.

"This government is committed to working toward putting these grievances behind us so that we can pursue an economy that provides opportunities and a unique quality of life for all New Zealanders."

The Crown and Ngati Whatua o Orakei will now work towards a detailed Deed of Settlement, which will be subject to ratification by all members of Ngati Whatua o Orakei.


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