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Collective Welcomes Crown Agreement

Media Statement 30 April 2008
CNI Iwi Collective
Spokesperson
Tamati Kruger

Collective Welcomes Crown Agreement

“The Central North Island Iwi Collective welcomes the Crown’s decision to accept our proposal for the use of the licensed forest lands in historical Treaty settlements for the iwi of our region.

“Since the Crown received our proposal for a commercial redress package at the beginning of April we have worked closely with officials and the Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Michael Cullen to explain and elaborate on our plan.

“Those discussions have been very productive and we are very happy that the Crown has accepted the proposal to the use of the more than 176,000 ha of forestlands to provide a substantial commercial redress package.

“Current estimates place the value of those lands at well over $200m. The rentals that have accumulated since the Crown Forest Licenses were created in 1989 total almost $248m.

“The proposal accepted by the Crown will see CNI iwi receive 90% of the forest lands by value and the same proportion of the accumulated rentals will also transfer. Final valuations for the land have yet to be completed so the precise value at which the lands will be transferred has yet to be determined.

“The remaining 10% by value of the forest lands are available for use in settlements by any iwi that can demonstrate a direct interest in those lands and is not participating in the Collective. Any lands left over after the claims process in the region is completed will be available to the Collective.

“Since presenting the proposal the Collective has been working very hard on a plan to allocate the benefits of the settlement between the iwi that make up the Collective. An allocation plan based on a mix of criteria has been unanimously agreed.

“The plan includes provision for the Collective to hold and manage the forest lands for up to 35 years, the term of the current Crown Forest Leases, before transferring the title to the land to iwi.

“We are confident the redress proposal will provide for our members both a strong income necessary for future social, cultural and economic development and renew a vital connection to the land for the more than 100,000 members of the iwi that make up the Collective. The return of land on this scale has big cultural implications for us all. It is the single largest transfer of land through the historical settlement process.”

“Our next step is to begin an intensive round of consultation with iwi about this package. This will take until early June. The Crown will then determine whether the settlement proposal has broad support among the iwi of the Collective. We are confident that our iwi will speak loud and clear.”

Central North island Iwi Collective

The iwi that make up the Collective are: Raukawa, Ngati Whare, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngai Tuhoe. The affiliate group Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa which had previously negotiated a settlement with the Crown joined the Collective in the negotiations with the Crown on the Central North Island forest lands.

Summary of Agreed Commercial Redress Package

* The Collective will receive 90% (by value) of the 176,000 ha Central North Island licenced forest lands.

* These lands will be held in a Trust Holding Company in which the Collective iwi will own shares. Title to the lands will transfer to individual iwi after 35 years (or earlier if agreed)

* A forestry management company will be formed to manage the lands on behalf of the Trust Holding Company.

* Mana Whenua will be determined by an agreed process over the next two years.

* The annual rental income from the Crown Forest Licences on these lands totals $15m

* The remaining 10% of the forests by value will be held for use in settlements with any iwi that has direct interests in the CNI forests but is not a member of the Collective. Any residual land remaining will be available to the Collective at a to be agreed value .

* The Crown has also undertaken to provide the Collective with Right of First Refusal and Deferred Purchase Mechanisms over future surplus Crown assets in the region, subject to the rights of individual iwi.

* In a separate agreement the Crown and the Collective will also agree on the provision of New Zealand units to the collective under the pending emissions trading regime.

* The participating iwi will negotiate the remainder of their historical settlements directly with the Crown. This will include a Crown Apology, Crown Acknowledgements for any breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, an historical account, any further commercial redress and a cultural redress package that each iwi can use to assist in the recognition and protection of their cultural values and sites in their rohe.

ENDS

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