Thursday, April 25, 2024

First reading for Ngāti Tara Tokanui claims Bill

The Ngāti Tara Tokanui Claims Settlement Bill has been read for the first time at Parliament in recognition of Ngāti Tara Tokanui’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

Ngāti Tara Tokanui is one of the 12 iwi of Hauraki. Their area of interest centres around Paeroa and the Karangahake Gorge. They have approximately 830 members.

“This milestone is possible because of the many years of hard work from all parties involved, and it is through their determination, dedication and commitment that we are here today,” said Treaty of Waitangi Minister, Andrew Little.

“This is a significant step towards the restoration of the relationship between Ngāti Tara Tokanui and the Crown, based on trust, co-operation and partnership, as it should have been from the very start.”

Ngāti Tara Tokanui’s historical grievances relate to the Crown’s actions and omissions that severely undermined their wellbeing, eroded their tribal structures, resulted in the dispersal and displacement of their people, and the loss of most of their ancestral lands.

The Crown’s promotion of laws and policies also damaged the environment, including the discharge of cyanide-treated waste from mining into water sources they relied on for washing, drinking and growing crops. The discharges also caused illness and death.

“This settlement includes acknowledgements and a Crown Apology for its harmful actions against Ngāti Tara Tokanui that they have carried for generations,” Mr Little said.

“It will also enhance Ngāti Tara Tokanui’s ability to participate in resource management processes, including around the Karangahake area which has been described as the heart of the Ngāti Tara Tokanui rohe.”

The settlement also includes:

  • financial and commercial redress of $6 million;
  • the vesting of seven sites of cultural significance, and two sites jointly vested with Hako and Ngāti Tamaterā;
  • Relationship protocols with Crown agencies.

“No settlement package could ever fully compensate for such a magnitude of loss, suffering and prejudice, but it is my sincere hope that this package will provide a foundation for prosperity for Ngāti Tara Tokanui,” Minister Little said.

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