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Māori Party welcomes the passing of two Treaty Settlements

MEDIA RELEASE

9 September 2015

Māori Party welcomes the passing of two long-standing Treaty settlements

The Māori Party congratulates four Te Hiku iwi (Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto and Te Rarawa) as well as Te Kawerau ā Maki for enshrining their Treaty of Waitangi settlements in law. Both the Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill and Te Kawerau ā Maki Claims Settlement Bill passed their third and final readings in Parliament today.

“I pay tribute to those who began the Te Hiku claim 30 years ago, including the late Dame Whina Cooper and the late Hon Matiu Rata, and to all of those people who have carried the claim and the negotiations through to a final settlement. They have shown great tenacity and endurance”, says Māori Party Co-leader Hon Te Ururoa Flavell.

The Te Hiku Bill gives effect to the individual covenants that have been reached between the Crown and Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto and Te Rarawa. It acknowledges the actions of the Crown during the 19th and 20 centuries left Te Hiku iwi virtually landless.

The four Te Hiku settlements include apologies, recognition of their kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of Te Oneroa-a-Tohe (Ninety Mile Beach) which will cover the foreshore and seabed areas of the beach and adjoining Crown-owned lands or lands vested in Te Hiku including a management plan for the Beach.

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says, “Our history is laden with past ghosts of injustice, encapsulated by the wrong actions we do not rectify. I am happy that today we will put to rest some of those grievances. The two settlements enacted today provide a platform for Te Hiku and Te Kawerau ā Maki to move forward.”

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Mrs Fox had tears in her eyes when she first heard of the destruction meted out to Te Kawerau ā Maki following the loss of 100,000 acres of land.

“Te Kawerau ā Maki were rendered landless and it has stalled the tribe’s social, economic and cultural development. They are one of the few iwi in the country that do not to have a marae or an urupā of their own.

“These are the local histories that all New Zealanders should know about,” she says.

Mr Flavell is pleased to see that in addition to financial redress and the return of 31 hectares, $300,000 has been set aside to establish a marae at Te Onekiritea Point (Hobsonville) and land at Te Henga will allow them to establish an urupā.

“The public tend to focus on the financial value of Treaty settlements but it is often the environmental or cultural redress that is as equally important to iwi. Having a marae and urupā will allow Te Kawerau ā Maki to reconnect with their whenua,” he says.

The Te Kawerau ā Maki settlement includes the return of 31 hectares of land and $6.5 million financial redress.

ENDS

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