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Ratification of Ngaa Rauru settlement begins

7 October 2003 Media Statement

Ratification of Ngaa Rauru settlement begins


Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi of south Taranaki has started the ratification process for finalising their Deed of Settlement with the Crown, Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson said.

This milestone marks the first settlement of historical claims to be negotiated entirely under a Labour-led government. Negotiations have taken three years and the proposed settlement that emerged from those discussions will now be voted on by the iwi between now and November 10.

Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi is one of eight generally recognised iwi of Taranaki and has approximately 3000 members. Ratification by its members will make the agreement binding and open a new chapter on the relationship between the tribe and the Crown.

Margaret Wilson said it was her desire that the proposed settlement would help to heal scars left by the wars of the 19th century, the significant land confiscations that followed and further land deals that stripped the once prosperous iwi of their homes and livelihoods.

The proposed settlement package includes an account of that history, Crown acknowledgements of the breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and an apology for them.

“During the land wars of the 1860s, the Crown adopted a scorched earth policy that saw Ngaa Rauru villages and cultivations systematically destroyed. This tribe suffered much loss of life and property during those bush scouring campaigns,” Margaret Wilson said.

“When they resisted, their land was indiscriminately confiscated. The lands taken greatly exceeded what was necessary for incoming settlers.

“Ngaa Rauru people took part in the passive resistance movement of Parihaka, and they were among the 1,600 men, women and children forcibly expelled from that settlement.

“Ngaa Rauru have come through all of that with real drive to rejuvenate their identity, to build businesses within their community and a desire to make life better for their children.”

These aims will be assisted by the $31 million proposed cash settlement and the return of significant cultural sites, but also a particular Crown acknowledgement of a statement by Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi of their values and practices, known as Ngaa Raurutanga.


ENDS

Summary of the proposed Deed of Settlement available at www.beehive.govt.nz

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