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Ngati Ruanui Claims Settlement Bill First Reading

Ngati Ruanui Claims Settlement Bill receives `First Reading’

Ngati Ruanui of South Taranaki turned out in numbers today to acknowledge the progression of their Treaty Claims Settlement Bill through the beginning of its Parliamentary stages.

For five minutes, Parliament was silent while the people of Ngati Ruanui performed a waiata to support the successful progression of the Bill through the House.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson paid tribute to the presence of Ngati Ruanui in her First reading speech on the Bill to Parliament.

“Although it is not usually permitted to refer to people in the gallery, I am conscious of the presence here of members of the Ngati Ruanui negotiating team, and other elders and members of Ngati Ruanui,“ she said.

“Their presence helps to restore the integrity of the Crown, and adds greatly to the mana and prestige of this historic event.”

The Bill will enact those parts of the final and comprehensive settlement of the historical Treaty claims of Ngati Ruanui that require legislation.

The Bill [is to be/was] referred to the Maori Affairs Committee for its consideration and report back by mid December.

Ngati Ruanui and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement in May last year. The settlement is made up of a package that includes:
* An apology from the Crown - for past dealings that breached the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi;
* Cultural redress – which recognises Ngati Ruanui’s traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual association with places and sites owned by the Crown within the Ngati Ruanui area of interest;
* Commercial redress - which includes a combination of cash and crown-owned land up to a value of $41 million.

Margaret Wilson said she was very pleased with what had been achieved, and the constructive and positive way the iwi had approached the settlement process.

“This Bill lays the foundation for a strong and positive relationship between the Crown and Ngati Ruanui into the future,” she said.

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