Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Bill Becomes Law
Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Bill Passed into Law
Urgency in Parliament allowed for the successful progression of the Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Bill through its remaining Parliamentary stages last night.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson paid tribute to Te Uri o Hau, a hapu grouping of Ngati Whatua of the Northern Kaipara region, in her Third Reading speech to Parliament.
“To the people of Te Uri o Hau, your ancestors, your elders, your descendants, your negotiating team – I wish you well for the future, whatever that may hold,” she said. “The dignity, wisdom and judgement you demonstrated in the settlement process will greatly assist you as you move forward to further enhance your cultural, social and economic development.”
Margaret Wilson’s comments were echoed by Treaty Negotiations Parliamentary Under-Secretary Mita Ririnui who said the occasion should be remembered as an historic event. An event that allows Te Uri o Hau to take another step forward in the journey toward reconciliation with the Crown.
“To the people of Te Uri o Hau I encourage you to remember you finally received justice today. Justice that sees past wrongs righted. Justice that will allow you to move forward into a brighter future.”
The Bill enacts those parts of the final and comprehensive settlement of the historical Treaty claims of Te Uri o Hau that require legislation. It is the first settlement in the North and the third involving forest land to come through the current Treaty settlement process. The Maori Affairs Committee considered the Bill and recommended it be passed.
Te Uri o Hau and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement in December 2000. 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 Te Uri o Hau traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual association with places and sites owned by the Crown within the Te Uri o Hau area of interest;
· Commercial redress - which includes a combination of cash and crown-owned land up to a value of $15.6 million.
· Among the properties which Te Uri o Hau have selected are two on which Crown Licensed Forests are located. Te Uri O Hau will also receive the accumulated rentals from these forests.
Margaret Wilson said she was extremely pleased the Bill could be passed last night.
“It will bring to an end the longstanding and significant historical grievances of Te Uri o Hau. And, the passing of this Bill will now enable the transfer of redress to Te Uri o Hau before the end of the year,” she said.