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Ngati Ruanui Heads Of Agreement

7 SEPTEMBER 1999


Relationships Strengthened In Ngati Ruanui Heads Of Agreement

Conservation Minister Nick Smith today welcomed the achievement of a significant step towards settling Ngati Ruanui's Treaty of Waitangi claim - the signing of a Heads of Agreement by Ngati Ruanui and the Crown.

"I am pleased that conservation has been able to contribute to the proposed settlement in an appropriate way while still advancing conservation values. While the Heads of Agreement is non-binding, and will be followed by further discussions, it will form the basis of a formal Crown offer to Ngati Ruanui."

"Some specific conservation sites of significance to Ngati Ruanui have been proposed for return, such as a pa site within the Otoki Gorge Scenic Reserve. Ngati Ruanui has plans to restore another small area - the Rehu Village Conservation Area. One of the most important things that has come from this stage of the settlement is the strengthening of the working relationship between DOC and Ngati Ruanui."


There is no redress proposed in the Heads of Agreement relating to the confiscation of Mt Taranaki in 1865. This matter will be addressed at a later date in the settlement process when all eight Taranaki iwi are in a position to negotiate on this issue. However, any cultural redress that is agreed will recognise the cultural, traditional and historic importance of the mountain to all Taranaki iwi, while also recognising the interests of the people of New Zealand generally.

"During these discussions, we have been guided by the same principles as with other settlements. Our experience to date is that, where a settlement has been reached, a solid base for development together has also been achieved. This is certainly the case with Ngati Ruanui to date. Conservation values have not been compromised and the relationship between the Crown and Ngati Ruanui has been strengthened and improved."
ENDS

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