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Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Welcomes Crown Agreement

Media Statement 1 May 2008

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Welcomes Crown Agreement

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa chairman Eru George welcomes the Crown's decision to accept a collective proposal for the use of the licensed forest lands to settle historical Treaty settlements for the iwi and hapu of the region.

Mr George said the Crown's acceptance was a significant step in the process to settle Te Arawa land claims, a process that has traversed generations.

"Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa have worked long and hard to achieve the best out come for our people through the settlement process. The Crown's announcement moves this process closer to resolution.

"The Crown have shown a willingness and good-faith in this process that bodes well for the eleven Te Arawa iwi and hapu within Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, and iwi within the Central North Island Iwi collective."

"This proposal signals a way forward for all iwi and hapu, and recognises the significance of these lands to our collective members."

Mr George said the priority for Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa was to meet with iwi and hapu members to seek their support for proposed variations to the Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa Deed of Settlement, set to be tabled in parliament this year.

"The Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa settlement has been enhanced as a consequence of this proposal. This is a good outcome for our people, and provides some value for the patience they have shown in delaying the progressing of our claim to allow fresh CNI negotiations to take place."

"We committed to working with other central North Island iwi to find a fair and equitable outcome to resolve outstanding claims to licensed Crown forest lands in the Central North island. Our commitment was enhanced by a Crown commitment that any proposal will not reduce the value of the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu settlement."

"This commitment has meant progress for Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa and for the CNI collective. This is good news for all our iwi and hapu members, and the people of the region and in fact the country."

A series of consultation hui will be held throughout Te Arawa and the main urban centres to consult with iwi and hapu members from mid May.

All members will also receive details of proposal and postal ballot papers seeking their support for proposed amendments to the Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Deed of Settlement.

The outcome of this ballot is expected in early June.

Background: Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa
Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa is a collective of eleven Te Arawa iwi and hapu, representing more than 24,000 members, or around 62 per cent of the Te Arawa peoples. The Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa claim will settle more than 80 outstanding land claims.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown on September 2006. Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa agreed to defer the introduction of settlement legislation in 2007 to allow the Crown to enter into fresh discussions with the CNI Iwi Collective.


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