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Te Arawa Lakes settlement legislation passed

Te Arawa Lakes settlement legislation passed

Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burton welcomed the passing into law of the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act today.

The Act provides for the transfer of settlement assets and other redress agreed in the 2004 Deed of Settlement, and the full and final settlement of Te Arawa’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims in relation to 14 lakes around Rotorua.

"This is an important milestone in addressing historical grievances in the Rotorua area," Mark Burton said. "The Act also acknowledges the grievance felt by Te Arawa regarding the lakes as a result of historic actions by the Crown and that some of these actions were in breach of the Treaty."

Senior representatives of Te Arawa were in Parliament today to witness the passage of the legislation, which is the first Te Arawa-wide Treaty settlement to be passed into law.

"The settlement package contains a formal Crown apology and cultural redress including title to 13 lakebeds in the Rotorua area, although the Crown will continue to own the water column and airspace above the lakebeds. The settlement also includes financial redress of $2.7 million and annuity redress of $7.3 million.

"This Bill also marks the end of the Te Arawa Māori Trust Board that has provided leadership for Te Arawa in relation to the lakes and matters affecting their people since its inception in 1924. I acknowledge the tireless efforts of the past and present members of the Board to see this claim to its conclusion. The Trust Board will be replaced by the Te Arawa Lakes Trust that will manage the redress provided in this settlement," Mark Burton said.
"Today's milestone is part of a growing momentum to address historic Treaty grievances, which should be welcomed by all New Zealanders."

"The Te Arawa Lakes settlement is this government's eighth settlement bill since 2000. Three settlement bills passed into law last year alone, and I anticipate another three settlement bills will be introduced this year," Mark Burton said.

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

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