Crown agrees $170M settlement with Tuhoe, compromise on Urewera park
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Ngai Tuhoe negotiators have agreed to settle the tribe’s historic grievances with the Crown in a $170 million deal that includes shared management of Te Urewera National Park.
The deal is among the biggest to date, and includes Tuhoe's share of the $400 million Central North Island forestry settlement, known as Treelord, where the East Cape iwi received some $67.3 million and a quarter of the 176,000 hectares of land. The settlement also includes the implementation of the social services management plan where government agencies work with Tuhoe to lift health, education and housing standards.
The offer will now be put to Tuhoe's 35,000 members for ratification.
"I am delighted to reach the goal of a Crown offer that can be developed into a deed of settlement," Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said in a statement. "The conditions in Te Urewera, which contains some of our most deprived and isolated communities, show the very real and continued effects of the Crown's Treaty breaches on the daily lives of Ngai Tuhoe people in the present."
The negotiations hit a speed bump in 2010 when Prime Minister John Key took the national park off the negotiating table, and the Crown has now offered to share governance of Te Urewera under a separate legal entity.
The government has had a turbulent relationship with Ngai Tuhoe, which didn't sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, after the Crown confiscated much of its land during the latter half of the 19th century and entered into a drawn-out war with the iwi.