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Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Kuri

Hon Christopher Finlayson
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

7 February 2014

Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Kuri

The Crown has signed a Deed of Settlement for all outstanding historical Treaty claims with Ngāti Kuri at Waiora marae at Ngataki, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced today.

The Crown was represented at the signing by Mr Finlayson and Hon Tariana Turia. The signing was witnessed by local Member of Parliament Mike Sabin and Member of Parliament Claudette Hauiti.

Ngāti Kuri’s claims are based on the Crown’s actions and omissions which left Ngāti Kuri marginalised on their ancestral lands with few economic opportunities. Many had to leave the rohe altogether, resulting in a loss of social cohesion and difficulty in passing on Ngāti Kuri’s tikanga, traditional knowledge and language to younger generations.

“Signing the Deed at Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua recognises Ngāti Kuri’s role as kaitiaki over this area,” Mr Finlayson said. “This settlement will enable the people of Ngāti Kuri to focus on developing a strong cultural and economic base for the future.”

The settlement includes financial and commercial redress of $21 million. It also includes cultural redress providing recognition of the traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual associations of Ngāti Kuri with several key sites.

As part of the settlement, Ngāti Kuri will receive a cultural endowment fund of $2.230 million for the enhancement of the historical and cultural identity of Ngāti Kuri.

“Signing this Deed of Settlement with Ngāti Kuri is an important step towards settling all historical grievances in the Far North and New Zealand as a whole. It signifies a new relationship between Ngāti Kuri and the Crown,” Mr Finlayson said.

The settlement will be given effect through the Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill (Omnibus), which will give effect to the four signed deeds of settlement with Te Hiku iwi: Te Aupouri, NgāiTakoto, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Kuri, including their collective redress.

The collective redress for the Te Hiku iwi includes a co-governance arrangement with Northland Regional Council and the Far North District Council over Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē / Ninety Mile Beach to protect and manage the beach. Te Hiku iwi will also be involved in decisions for the protection and development of public conservation lands remaining in Crown ownership through the Korowai for Enhanced Conservation. The collective redress provides scope for Ngāti Kahu, the remaining unsettled iwi of the Far North, to participate in advance of reaching a comprehensive settlement.

Also included is an Accord that sets out how the Crown and iwi will work together to transform the social development and wellbeing of Te Hiku whānau, hapū, iwi and wider community.

The Crown and iwi negotiators initialled the deed in October last year. It was ratified by Ngati Kuri's membership, which approved the deed with 87% in favour.

It is the first deed of settlement signed in 2014. It is the 68th Treaty settlement and the 42ndsince 2009. Well over half of all historical claims have now been settled.

A copy of the Deed of Settlement is available on the Office of Treaty Settlements’ website www.ots.govt.nz

On 7 June 1985 Hon Matiu Rata sent a letter to the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of Te Aupouri and Ngati Kuri alleging the Crown had failed to meet its Treaty obligations by presuming that iwi customary and traditional fishing rights and interests had been completely extinguished. Hon Matiu Rata subsequently lodged with the Tribunal the Wai 22 Muriwhenua Fishing Claim on 11 June and the Wai 45 Muriwhenua Land Claim in December 1987. The named claimant for Te Aupouri was Wiki Karena. The Waitangi Tribunal’s Muriwhenua Fishing Claim Reportand Muriwhenua Land Report addressed some of the claims in the region in 1988 and 1997 respectively.

Ngāti Kuri Deed of Settlement Questions and Answers

What is the key redress included in the Ngāti Kuri settlement?

• Crown acknowledgements of past wrongs and apologies to Ngāti Kuri;
• Quantum of $21.04 million;
• Sale of Te Paki Station;
• Joint vesting of Aupouri Crown forest lands (21,283 ha) and accumulated rentals ($2.2 million) between the Te Hiku iwi;
• Sale and lease back of Te Hāpua and Ngātaki school sites;
• Vesting of 10 cultural redress sites and 7 sites with one or more other iwi;
• Co-governance arrangements over public conservation land (with the Crown) and Te Oneroa-a-Töhē / Ninety Mile Beach (with Councils);
• Shared cultural redress payments as contribution to Te Oneroa-a-Töhē / Ninety Mile Beach co-governance arrangement ($137,500 mana recognition and a portion of the $400,000 one-off contribution to the Te Oneroa-a-Töhē Board);
• Cultural endowment fund ($2.230 million) to assist Ngāti Kuri to purchase lands of cultural significance; and
• $812,500 towards Social Accord implementation.

What are the grievances of Ngāti Kuri?
They relate to the Crown’s failure to protect Ngāti Kuri’s rangatiratanga and to ensure Ngāti Kuri had adequate land for their needs, nineteenth century land purchases by the Crown, the operation and impact of the native land laws, twentieth century land administration issues and the economic, social and cultural prejudice that resulted.

Is any private land being transferred?
No.

Are the public’s rights affected?
In general, all existing public access rights in relation to areas affected by this settlement will be preserved.

Aupouri Crown forest land is transferring – once the land transfers out of Crown ownership, the agreement of the landowner (iwi) will be required for both foot and vehicular access. The scope of such access will remain subject to the forestry operational requirements of the licensee.

Are any place names being changed?
Yes. There will be 18 place name changes, including dual Māori-English names for Ninety Mile Beach (Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē / Ninety Mile Beach), Cape Reinga (Cape Reinga / Te Rerenga Wairua), Spirits Bay (Piwhane / Spirits Bay) and Henderson Bay (Ōtaipango / Henderson Bay).

What happens to memorials on private titles?
The legislative restrictions (memorials) placed on the title of Crown properties and some former Crown properties now in private ownership will be removed once all Treaty claims in the area have been settled.

Do Te Hiku iwi have the right to come back and make further claims about the behaviour of the Crown in the 19th and 20th centuries?
No. If a Deed of Settlement is ratified and passed into law, both parties agree it will be a final and comprehensive settlement of all the historical (relating to events before 21 September 1992) Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Kuri. The settlement legislation, once passed, will prevent Ngāti Kuri from re-litigating the claims before the Waitangi Tribunal or the courts.

Who benefits from the settlements?
All members of Ngāti Kuri, wherever they may now live.

Next steps
Once the Ngāti Kuri Deed of Settlement is signed the Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill (Omnibus) will be introduced into Parliament. Settlement redress will be transferred to Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, NgāiTakoto and Te Rarawa and the new co-governance committees will be established once settlement legislation is passed.

ENDS

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