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Further progress in Treaty settlement legislation

Hon Christopher Finlayson
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

7 August 2013

Further progress in Treaty settlement legislation

The Raukawa Claims Settlement Bill, which will settle the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of the central North Island iwi, Raukawa, passed its first reading today in extended sitting hours today, and will now be considered by the Māori Affairs Committee.

Te Urewera-Tuhoe Bill was also introduced to the House today, and will receive its first reading in due course. The bill will ultimately be split into two bills, giving effect to the deed of settlement signed between the Crown and Ngāi Tuhoe in June, and also a Te Urewera Bill governing the new status of Te Urewera as its own legal identity.

‘Te Urewera-Tuhoe Bill is the sixth Treaty settlement bill introduced this year and follows on from a record eleven settlement bills completed in 2012,” Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson said. “The six bills will settle the historical claims of fifteen claimant groups.”

“A total of 66 claims have been settled since negotiations started over 20 years ago, with over half having been settled in the last four years. We are making great progress towards resolving all historical Treaty grievances”

“These numbers show the extraordinary distance we have come towards our goal of just and timely resolution of historical claims,” Mr Finlayson said. “But every individual settlement that makes up that headline figure is significant and provides for the particular claimants’ situation.”

“Te Urewera-Tuhoe Bill for example addresses some of the most appalling acts of the New Zealand Crown over many decades, and provides innovative redress to restore the relationship of Ngāi Tuhoe with Te Urewera, as well as allowing the iwi to provide for its future by establishing an economic base.”

The Raukawa settlement includes an agreed historical account, Crown acknowledgments and apology and commercial redress of totalling $50 million including the value of the 2008 Central North Island Forestry Settlement, and also returns culturally significant sites along the Waikato River and in other areas and strengthens the commercial relationship between Raukawa and Mighty River Power.

ENDS

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