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MP for Te Tai Tonga welcomes Deed of Settlement

19 August 2008 Media Statement

MP for Te Tai Tonga welcomes Deed of Settlement with Taranaki Whanui

MP for Te Tai Tonga Hon Mahara Okeroa has welcomed today’s signing of a Deed of Settlement between the Crown and Port Nicholson Block Claims Team to settle all historical Te Tiriti o Waitangi claims of Taranaki Whanui.

“It has been a culmination of years of negotiation between both parties to reach this significant milestone. This is an important step by Taranaki Whanui in building solid foundations on which to advance the interests of their people,” said Mahara Okeroa.

The settlement package includes:
- an historical account, Crown acknowledgements of historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, a Crown apology, and the innovation of a Statement of forgiveness from Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika to the Crown;
- a cultural redress package featuring the transfer of a number of sites of cultural significance to Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, including the three islands in Wellington Harbour, with public access rights preserved; and
- a quantum of $25.025 million, as well as the opportunity to purchase a number of Crown properties in Wellington city and the surrounding region.

“Today’s announcement is an important landmark for the relationship between the Crown and iwi under the shared responsibility to address treaty issues and invest in the future of Maori.

“Treaty settlements such as this one give Maori communities the opportunity to step out from the shadow of grievance and into development mode that will secure a prosperous future.

“As a nation we should be proud that historic claims are being acknowledged and addressed in such a constructive way, while having a positive impact on our developing sense of national identity.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to Taranaki Whanui for forging a bright new future for their people, and I look forward to the passage of legislation which will give effect to the settlement in the coming weeks,” said Mahara Okeroa.

ENDS

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