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Over 19,000ha to be returned to Ngāti Kahungunu

Over 19,000ha to be returned to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua iwi

A deed of settlement that returns more than 19,000 hectares of land to iwi has been initialled by the Crown and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua today.

The agreement includes the return of Wairarapa Moana to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua and the ability for the iwi to purchase Ngaumu Forest and two Landcorp Farms.

The initialling of the deed marks a significant milestone for Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua. Chairman Ian Perry says he believes that the settlement, if approved, will unite the iwi into the future.

“This settlement is for all our people who whakapapa to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua, and for our future generations,” he says.

“We will put the proposed settlement to a vote of all our registered adult members in the coming months. If they vote in support, it will mark a ‘new dawn’ for our people – te ao hou.”

The settlement comprises financial redress of $93m and a significant return of land to the iwi – including 12,231ha of commercial redress land (paid for out of the quantum) and more than 7,000ha of cultural redress land (gifted on top of the quantum).

The cultural redress land includes the return of the bed of Lake Wairarapa and surrounding reserves, the vesting and gift back of Castlepoint Scenic Reserve and the return of sites throughout the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua rohe (area of land).

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua had its claims heard before the Waitangi Tribunal in 2004 and 2005, and the Tribunal issued its Wairarapa ki Tararua report in 2010.

Mr Perry says the process has enlightened and empowered Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua.

“Our hapū and iwi have been able to connect once again like our old people did, while finding out more about ourselves,” says Mr Perry.

“Our kaumatua and kuia organised and researched our claims for decades, and some of them are no longer with us. Our old people started this journey, we owe it to them and our tīpuna to finish it.”

The Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua Settlement Trust represents the interests, in part or full, of 53 Treaty of Waitangi claims in so far as they relate to Ngāti Kahungunu.

“We have worked incredibly hard to get the best possible settlement for our iwi. We have always had our door open to all our people and we will continue to do so,” says Mr Perry.

The deed of settlement also includes the Crown’s acknowledgment of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi towards Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua, and a Crown apology.

The Crown apology pays tribute to the struggles of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua and ancestors in pursuit of justice for the Crown’s wrongs and especially to those who have not survived to see this settlement completed.

The apology states ‘the Crown is deeply humbled that throughout its relationship with the Crown, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua has acted honourably in the face of great injustice.

Through this apology and settlement, the Crown seeks to atone for these wrongs, begin the process of healing, and restore its tarnished honour.

The Crown looks forward to forging a renewed and enduring relationship with the people of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua that is grounded in mutual trust, co-operation, and respect for te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles.’

Mr Perry says the apology was an important part of the Deed of Settlement for all Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua iwi.

“We look forward to starting a new chapter in our relationship with the Crown, and building strong and reciprocal relationships with local and central Government as we turn our focus to the future for our people and our rohe.

“The settlement will not be the end of the road – it will allow us to repair the past, acknowledge the wrongs, and move forward into our next phase as Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua.”
For more information on the proposed Deed of Settlement, visit www.kkwtnr.org.nz


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