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Hon Margaret Wilson
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi: third Taranaki settlement signed
27 November 2003
The Government and representatives of Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi have today signed a Deed of Settlement settling their historical claims.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson said the Deed of Settlement was the third Taranaki settlement to be negotiated by the Crown, and the first to entirely negotiated by this Government. It is also the third Treaty settlement to be concluded this year along with the Ngati Awa and Ngati Tuwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) settlements.
Margaret Wilson said Maori and the general public should take heart that the settlements were being completed at an unprecented and steady rate, addressing historical grievances and providing financial redress that would open up opportunities in often rural communities. Today's settlement covers all historical claims of the tribe, and specifically 10 that had been registered in the Waitangi Tribunal.
"The Deed of Settlement acknowledges the Crown's past breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi in relation to Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi and provides the iwi with resources to assist them to develop their future economic and social well-being."
The historical grievances of Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi arose from acts by the Crown in the nineteenth century, including the waging of war, the confiscation of land, inadequate compensation processes and the invasion and occupation of Parihaka.
"Some aspects of the iwi's history are truly devastating. In one incident, a group of children were killed and maimed by government militia. The scars of the survivors have been both physical and emotional, and naturally the resulting grief and anger has been passed from one generation to the next.
"A settlement cannot undo that harm, but it does mark the day when the Crown has shown due respect for the tribe's sadness. It has been clear throughout negotiations that Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi are an iwi focused on the future, and they have a real desire to strengthen their cutural traditions and their economic base for the benefit of generations coming through. New Zealand cannot afford to fully compensate each iwi for their historic losses, but we can make a practical and pragmatic contribution to their future development," Margaret Wilson said.
Under the Deed of Settlement, the Crown:
- formally apologises to Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi;
- provides financial redress of $31 million in recognition of the economic loss suffered;
- transfers five sites of significance;
- acknowledges their interest in fishing and in areas of importance to the iwi;
- gives the iwi a 50-year right of first refusal to buy, at full market value, certain Crown-owned land in the area.
The Deed also includes some new redress items that put greater emphasis on creating a platform for building the future relationship between Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi and the Crown. There will be regular meetings between Ministers, government departments and the iwi to discuss issues of mutual importance.
The Deed is now conditional only on the establishment of a governance entity to receive and manage the settlement redress and the passage of legislation giving effect to the settlement.