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Large Te Arawa delegation for bill's first reading

Media Statement
Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa. 24 June 2008

Large Te Arawa delegation to attend parliament today to support the first reading of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu Claims Settlement Bill.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa chairman Eru George said more than a hundred affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu will attend today's historic introduction of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu Claims Settlement Bill .

"This is a momentous day for our people, and marks the beginning of the final stage of the settlement process."

Mr George said iwi and hapu leaders, kuia and korua (elders) will be among the large delegation to awhi (support) the legislation.

"The settlement process has been a lengthy costly and at times fractious process. Our people have come not only to support the legislation but also to support the hard work that has been done by many within our iwi and hapu to reach this significant stage in the settlement process.

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 revised Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa settlement claim will settle more than 80 outstanding land claims.

"This process has been a quest for justice that has traversed a number of generations. It is the beginning of a process that will result in significant taonga and resources being returned to our people."

Mr George said the focus for affiliate Te Arawa on will continue around achieving the best outcomes for affiliate members.

"This settlement will add real momentum to our aspirations to assist in meeting the economic, cultural and social needs of our iwi and hapu members."

The first reading of the bill follows the signing of a revised Deed of Settlement between Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa and the Crown at Whakarewarewa in Rotorua earlier this month.

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

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa chief negotiator Rawiri Te Whare said amendments to the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu Claims Settlement were made to allow progress with the Central North Island iwi collective Deed of Settlement.

The Affiliate Te Arawa settlement has been enhanced as a consequence of our decision to work alongside the CNI iwi collective. The enhancements provide some compensation for the lengthy delays the trust has endured. Te Pumautanga began direct negotiations with the Crown in 2003.

"The revised settlement has been enhanced as a consequence of further negotiations. This is a good outcome for our people, and provides some value for the patience shown in delaying the progressing of settlement legislation to allow fresh CNI iwi negotiations to take place."

"We now have real progress. This will assist in allowing affiliate iwi and hapu to move from grievance to a focus on economic and social development."


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