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Deed of Settlement signed with Te Atiawa

Deed of Settlement signed with Te Atiawa

The Crown has signed a deed of settlement for the historical Treaty claims of Te Atiawa at Rangiātea Complex in New Plymouth, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced on Saturday.

The Crown was represented by Mr Finlayson and the deed signing was witnessed by New Plymouth Member of Parliament Jonathan Young.

The settlement provides acknowledgements, an apology and redress for the Crown’s actions, including disruptive land purchasing practices, war causing severe hardship and loss of life, the loss of land through raupatu (confiscation), the imposition of a system of perpetual leasing, and large-scale changes to their traditional environment.

The settlement package includes a financial and commercial redress of $87 million, a right of deferred selection over 51 land banked properties, two sale and leaseback properties and a right of first refusal over specified core Crown properties. Cultural redress includes a cultural fund and instruments that recognise the significance of a number of sites for Te Atiawa, and relationship redress with agencies such as protocols.

The settlement provides for the joint vesting of Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands in Te Atiawa and Taranaki Iwi. The joint vesting of Ngā Motu was approved by the New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki Regional Council after consultation with the public. The area is subject to the Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Protected Area Act and is also a protected area under the Conservation Act. This will not change following settlement and public access will be unaffected.

"The Crown can never fully compensate for the wrongs of the past, but this settlement signals a new beginning for Te Atiawa,” Mr Finlayson said. “This settlement is an opportunity to leave past discord behind and to look to the future, and for Te Atiawa to develop a strong economic, social and cultural base for their people.”

The settlement package also provides for the opportunity for Te Atiawa to enter into an agreement with the New Plymouth District Council to purchase any of the Waitara Endowment Lands. This is a voluntary mechanism and places no obligation on either party to enter into the agreement.

Mr Finlayson also said he was pleased to hear about a new arrangement between the New Plymouth District Council and Te Atiawa in relation to Waitara Endowment Lands. The arrangement will allow the Council to transfer/gift a number of sites to Te Atiawa, and offer a right of first refusal over certain properties of cultural significance, should they become available for purchasing in the future. The Council authorised the bilateral arrangement on Friday, 1 August 2014.

The deed of settlement was recently ratified by the people of Te Atiawa.

“The government is deeply committed to resolving historical Treaty grievances in a just and durable manner,” Mr Finlayson said.

The settlement will be given effect through legislation. A copy of the deed of settlement is available on the OTS website www.ots.govt.nz.


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