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Terms of Agreement with Central North Island iwi

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Embargoed until 1 pm
21 February 2008

Terms of Agreement with Central North Island iwi

The Crown and representatives of central North Island iwi have taken an early, but important, step forward in their relationship with the signing of a Terms of Agreement at Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen said.

The Terms of Agreement was signed by Dr Cullen, on behalf of the Crown, and by the representatives of the iwi group known as the Central North Island iwi Collective that includes Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi and Ngati Whare.

The Terms of Agreement enable the Collective to develop proposals for the allocation of Crown-owned forest lands between iwi with unsettled historic claims against the Crown in the central North Island.

“I was approached late last year by representatives of the Collective and asked if the government would consider a proposal to use the forest lands as commercial redress for historic claims,” Dr Cullen said.

“I recognised that this iwi-led initiative provided an opportunity to deliver iwi a significant commercial asset and a real way forward for the Crown and Central North Island iwi.

“There is much serious work and discussion before us. The Crown supports as wide as possible participation in the Central North Island group which is why it is so important that the agreement today includes provision for expanding the membership of the Collective in the future.

"At the same time, the Crown is committed to honouring the Crown settlement offer accepted so overwhelmingly by the members of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and hapu. I have assured them that they will in no way be disadvantaged by any collective approach that may develop out of these discussions. The Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu are vital participants in resolving these issues.”


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