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Ngäti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill passed

DRAFT 24 July 2006

Ngäti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading

The Ngäti Mutunga Claims Settlement bill passed its first reading in Parliament today.

The bill gives effect to the Deed of Settlement, signed in July 2005, to settle all of Ngäti Mutunga’s historical Taranaki-based Treaty of Waitangi claims.

The settlement package contains a formal Crown apology, cultural and commercial redress, and a total quantum of $14.9 million.

"This is an important milestone in the continuing process of addressing historical grievances. It is a particularly important milestone in the progress of Treaty settlements in Taranaki," Minister for Treaty Negotiations Mark Burton said. "I urge all members to support the passage of this bill into legislation."

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

"They strengthen the relationship between the Crown and iwi and lay the foundations for us to build a strong and confident sense of national identity".

"Over the past three years we have seen six deeds of settlement reached and thirteen groups have entered negotiations – five of those in 2005 alone. Three settlement bills were passed last year. This is the second settlement bill to be introduced this year, and I expect a further settlement bill to be introduced before the end of the year. Currently, the Government is in negotiations with over 20 groups, covering several hundred claims.

This is the ninth settlement bill since 1999, and the fourth settlement bill addressing the raupatu (confiscation) claims in Taranaki.

"This government is committed to reaching settlements which resolve past grievances of Mäori in a timely, fair, and durable manner." Mark Burton said

The bill will now be referred to Select Committee.

ENDS

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