Burton Speech: Deed of Settlement Signing Ceremony
Mark Burton Address to the Affiliate Iwi/Hapu Deed of Settlement Signing Ceremony
12.30pm, Saturday 30 September 2006, Te Pakira Marae, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
Te Arawa tapu Te Arawa mana Te Arawa waka Te Arawa iwi Mai Maketu ki Tongariro
“I greet Te Arawa, its mana, its chiefs and its people. To all who have assembled for this special occasion, I acknowledge and greet you, one and all.”
Mai Tongariro ki Maketu Tënei te mihi atu ki a koutou, ngä upoko ariki, Te Arawa whänui E te huinga, e te tuinga Tënä koutou, tënä koutou, tënä koutou katoa
Just over a month ago, I welcomed you to Parliament in Wellington to initial the draft Deed of Settlement before you embarked upon a process to ratify the Deed and the post-settlement governance entity. It is fitting that we are now gathered at the geothermal heart of the Te Arawa rohe to celebrate such a magnificent achievement - the settlement of the historical claims of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu against the Crown for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. This is the largest comprehensive settlement negotiated by this government to date, the largest since the Ngäi Tahu settlement in 1997, and the first major Treaty settlement in the central North Island. I am honoured to represent the Crown as the Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations on this auspicious day – a day from which I hope we can look forward to a new chapter in the relationship between the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu and the Crown. Thank you on behalf of all the Crown party for your warm welcome to your Te Pakira. I wish to pause and acknowledge those who are not here with us today to witness the outcome of two and a half years of hard work, courage and commitment. We cannot forget the ancestors of the Affiliates who carried the grievances long before this process began. I know they will all be in your thoughts today in a very special way. I want also to acknowledge other guests here today, representatives of other iwi and the representatives of the Rotorua community generally. All who are here today to bear witness to the signing of the Deed of Settlement between the Crown and the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu.
Road to Settlement I am pleased to be here today with my predecessor and the Hon Margaret Wilson. I acknowledge her leadership back in December 2002 when the dialogue began between the Crown and the central North Island iwi on how to move forward with settling Treaty claims in the region. In mid-2003, the mandating and pre-negotiations phase began and after many months of intensive and thorough mandating hui, the Kaihautu Executive Council submitted its Deed of Mandate to the Crown in December 2003, which was then recognised in April 2004. Following this, the Crown and the Executive Council signed Terms of Negotiation in November 2004 and an Agreement in Principle in September 2005. A Deed of Settlement based on this agreement was initialled last month, on 8 August 2006, which was subsequently ratified by members of the Affiliate Iwi and Hapu.
I wish to acknowledge the Kaihautu Executive Council’s hard work and effort in ensuring that people registered and voted on this settlement. I understand that staff at the Kaihautu Office went above and beyond to ensure that people voted in time. Significantly, 97% of your votes were in favour of both the settlement and the governance entity. That is an outstanding achievement. I also acknowledge every person who voted. The courage of those who voted to accept the settlement package will allow us all to put to rest the grievances of the past, and focus on the opportunities and challenges of the future.
Settlement Package The Crown acknowledges that this settlement can never fully compensate for the loss and prejudice the Affiliates have suffered. However, I believe that the settlement package is fair in the circumstances, and will assist the Affiliates in achieving their aspirations of restoring their economic base.
The settlement includes: a formal apology from the Crown to the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi; a historical account of the relationship between the Crown and the Affiliates, and in particular how the Crown’s actions led to the loss of the Affiliates geothermal lands and wähi tapu; a quantum of $36 million with which you have chosen to select licensed Crown forest land within a 50,000 hectare area and receive the accumulated rentals associated with this land.
In addition, you have the opportunity to purchase, within a set time, the remainder of the 50,000 hectare area of licensed Crown forest land, and certain other Crown-owned assets; redress that reflects the special relationship your Affiliates have with this area.
The significant number of sites being transferred will also allow for the restoration of your manawhenua and relationship with the lands throughout your wide-ranging and beautiful rohe; redress such as Whenua Rahui, which will enable the Affiliates to have increased input into the management of four of your maunga tupuna, and protocols between the Affiliates and government departments will also have essential parts to play in forging the Crown/Affiliates relationship; and the unique redress relating to lands administered by the Rotorua District Council, in particular, the future return of the Karamuramu Baths.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the leadership of Mayor Winters and Peter Guerin, and the courage the Council has shown in their commitment to support this settlement. The formal Crown apology is an integral part of this settlement package, as it will allow your people to begin the slow healing process, and repair the relationship that has suffered from Crown wrongdoings over the last 160 years.
Next steps Today marks a beginning of the next stage of the process. Settlement legislation will be drafted and introduced into Parliament to implement the Deed we sign today. The former Te Arawa Trust Board recently achieved success in this regard, so now it is your turn. Getting that process underway is the government’s responsibility, but as you know, we will need each other’s support to make these things happen.
Acknowledgements I am pleased to acknowledge all of those of Te Arawa and the Crown who have worked towards making this day possible. I wish to acknowledge those who carried out negotiations on behalf of the Affiliates – Rawiri Te Whare, Ruka Hughes, Henare Colbert and Brian Bargh, with support from Edwin McKinnon.
I also acknowledge the mana of the Kaihautu Executive Council, led by Eru George, and their continual support for their negotiators, as well as the dedication of the staff at the Kaihautu Office, led by Nero Panapa. As I said in Wellington, you have all worked on these negotiations while managing other iwi affairs, earning a living, and raising families.
You have all shown tremendous commitment and pragmatism, which I believe has allowed us to make such rapid progress. No other comprehensive settlement has been achieved in such a comparatively short time – less than two and a half years from a recognised mandate to Deed of Settlement.
Nga Kaihautu and its Executive Council have stood firm in their commitment and drive to move towards direct negotiations, to see the grievances of their affiliate iwi and hapu settled at last. I would also like to acknowledge other Ministers, and my colleagues who have supported me through this settlement, particularly the former Minister for Treaty Negotiations, Hon Margaret Wilson, the Associate Minister, Hon Mita Ririnui who is here today, the Minister of Mäori Affairs, Hon Parekura Horomia, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Conservation.
I would like to thank officials at the Office of Treaty Settlements who have led negotiations for the Crown, and officials from other agencies, particularly the Treasury, Land Information New Zealand and the Department of Conservation, who have also made valuable contributions to these negotiations.
Gift The Kaihautu website quotes a whakatauki (proverb) that appropriately reflects the significance of today and the efforts made in reaching this point: Whaia te iti kahurangi, me he tuohu koe, he maunga teitei - Pursue the aspirations of your ancestors.
If you have to bow, let it only be to a lofty mountain. The Crown appreciates that the most significant of the cultural redress in the Deed relates to the return, where possible, of the iconic peaks in your region - your tupuna maunga – ancestors in which under the mantle of their mana, you are protected.
The Crown wishes to acknowledge, in a small but tangible way, the significance of the point we have reached today. I will call on shortly, Hon Margaret Wilson, and Paul James, the Director of the Office of Treaty Settlements, to join me in presenting these photos of your tupuna maunga to the Kaihautu Executive Council to mark this occasion. May they continue to protect you and give you strength for the next stages of your journey.
Conclusion Thank you again, for your warm welcome to this marae. I am happy to be here to sign the Deed of Settlement, and celebrate the resolution of the historical claims of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu against the Crown. Nä reira, tënä koutou, tënä koutou, ngä mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.
[Note: The speech is followed by the presentation of the photos. The Crown party will sing “He Karere Tenei” and Eru George, Chairman of the Kaihautu Executive Council will respond.]