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Wellington settlement starts journey to future


Media Statement 19 August 2008

Wellington treaty settlement starts the journey to the future for Taranaki Whanui

For immediate use

The signing of the Deed of Settlement of the Port Nicholson Block Treaty Claims is a critical point in the journey toward cultural, social and economic rejuvenation for Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.

Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika is a collective that comprises people from Taranaki iwi – Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui and Ngati Tama whose ancestors migrated to Wellington in the 1820s and 30s and signed the Port Nicholson Block Deed of Purchase in 1839.

Claims covered by the Deed of Settlement include those relating to the loss of land and loss of social, economic and cultural opportunities. Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika also suffered in the nineteenth century, in the way the Crown administered reserves set aside for Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, and by the loss of connection to the harbour, forests, waterways and natural resources within the Port Nicholson Block.

Port Nicholson Block Claims Team Chairman, Professor Ngatata Love, said it had taken 21 years to settle over 168 years of grievance.

“It is both satisfying and a relief to reach this point, but in many ways this is just the beginning of the process for our people,” Professor Love said.

Professor Love noted that much has happened since the first of the claims represented in the PNBC settlement was lodged in 1987.

“We have seen 7 elections and 7 governments, 6 different Prime Ministers, a number of different Ministers dealing with Treaty Negotiations and a parade of officials too numerous to count in the course of the 21 years,” he said.

Professor Love also said that in some ways today was a bitter sweet day.

“There is a sadness amongst our people for the many tupuna (ancestors) who started this journey but are not with us today.

“However, we feel their presence and we honour them.”

He said some of the grievances we have settled today date back 168 years; but now the focus must be on the future and the generations yet to come.

“We have the ambition to move forward to capture the opportunities that this settlement presents; to revitalise and enhance our culture, language, social and economic well-being.”

Professor Love said he was also mindful of the wider Wellington community.

“Taranaki Whanui accepts the responsibility which goes with the many iconic sites in the claim – the rivers, the lakes, the harbour islands, Shelly Bay, Wellington Railway Station, the schools, land on the harbour and reserves.

“We will work with all relevant communities so that, over time, everyone in the greater Wellington region will benefit from this settlement,” Professor Love said.


ENDS

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