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Historic Deed of Settlement Signed

Historic Deed of Settlement Signed

Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa Executive Council, representing the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu, today signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown to settle their remaining historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Mark Burton was welcomed on to Te Pakira Marae in Rotorua where he signed the Deed of Settlement on behalf of the Crown.

"This Treaty settlement with the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu is the first major settlement in the central North Island, and the largest comprehensive settlement, by population, since the Ngai Tahu settlement in 1997," Mark Burton said.

The Affliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu have a membership of approximately 24,000 and assert interests in an area of over 500,000 hectares. A large portion of this area is licensed Crown forest land.

"This is an historic moment for the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu and for the Crown," Mark Burton said. "This Deed acknowledges the Crown's past breaches of the Treaty in relation to the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu and will provide the iwi with resources to help them develop their future economic and social well being."

"Today's signing demonstrates the Government's commitment to increasing the pace of settling historical grievances. Equally, Nga Kaihautu have stood firm in their intention to move towards direct negotiations, to see the grievances of their affiliate iwi and hapu settled at last."

The Deed of Settlement includes:

a formal apology from the Crown to the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi;

financial redress of $36 million in recognition of the economic loss suffered by the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu;

the ability to secure licensed Crown Forest land within a 50,000 hectare area up to the value of the financial redress, together with the accumulated rentals associated with that land;

the opportunity to purchase the remainder of the 50,000 hectare area of licensed Crown forest land and certain other Crown-owned assets;

the transfer of 19 areas of Crown-owned land of special significance to the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu; and

redress that will enable increased input into management over Crown-owned land, and protocols with certain government agencies.

This signing follows the recent passing of the Te Arawa Lakes Claims Settlement Act, which settles claims relating to the 14 Te Arawa lakes and the annuity paid by the Crown for the lakes. The Deed of Settlement signed with Nga Kaihautu today addresses all the remaining historical claims of the Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu.

The Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu have also ratified a governance entity to receive and manage the settlement assets. The Deed is now conditional only on the governance entity being established and the passage of settlement legislation giving effect to the settlement.

"Over the past three years we have seen seven deeds of settlement reached, while we are currently in negotiations with over 20 groups covering several hundred claims," Mark Burton said.

The Deed of Settlement and media summary is available at www.ots.govt.nz.

Ends

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