The Ahuriri Hapū Claims Settlement Bill has passed its third reading at Parliament – a significant milestone in the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for Ahuriri Hapū.
“This milestone marks a new beginning for the relationship between Ahuriri Hapū and The Crown based on co-operation, mutual trust, and respect,” Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister, Andrew Little said.
“Ahuriri Hapū has overcome considerable obstacles to reach this point, they have suffered the history of land loss, war and adverse Crown policies that left them virtually landless by the beginning of the 20th Century.
“Today they begin the strengthening and further development of the seven Hapū of Ahuriri, in partnership with the Crown that acknowledges the wrongs of the past but allows for new growth and prosperity.”
The Ahuriri Hapū settlement includes $19.5 million in financial redress and the right to buy shares in the Kaweka and Gwavas Crown Forest Licensed lands. Heipipi Pa and Conservation House in Napier will be vested in Ahuriri Hapū as cultural redress, the Minister said.
In recognition of Ahuriri Hapū ongoing connection to the Ahuriri Estuary the settlement will also establish a permanent statutory committee called Te Komiti Muriwai o Te Whanga. The purpose of the Komiti is to promote the protection and enhancement of the environmental, economic, social, spiritual, historical and cultural values of Te Muriwai o Te Whanga (Ahuriri Estuary) for present and future generations of the entire Napier community.
“The Ahuriri Hapū settlement has been one of significant delays but now this day has arrived and the elections of all Trustees are complete, we can look to take the next steps in realising the settlement promises made to Ahuriri hapū,” Mr Little said.
Ahuriri Hapū are based in and around Napier, in the Hawke’s Bay region. The seven Ahuriri Hapū are: Ngāti Hinepare, Ngāti Māhu, Ngāti Matepū, Ngāti Pārau (which includes Ngāi Tahu Ahi), Ngāi Tāwhao, Ngāti Tū and Ngāi Te Ruruku.
The Deed of Settlement was signed between the Crown and Ahuriri Hapū on November 2 2016.