Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri and the Crown have signed an Agreement in Principle marking a significant milestone towards the settlement of their historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.
Ngāti Mutunga are based on Wharekauri/Chatham Islands and are the second of two iwi/imi to reach agreement with the Crown.
“Today’s signing follows many years of hard work and marks another step towards resolving the long-standing historical grievances with the Crown and restoring the Crown-Ngāti Mutunga ki Wharekauri relationship,” Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister, Andrew Little said.
“Today is possible because of the ongoing commitment and unwavering determination of all those involved in negotiations from both Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri and the Crown.”
In the Agreement in Principle, the Crown acknowledges that its annexation of Wharekauri in 1842 was carried out without any effort to consult with Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri, representing a profound failure to give appropriate recognition and respect to the mana and te tino rangatiratanga of Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri.
The Crown also acknowledges the operation and effects of the native land laws, in particular the awarding of land to individuals rather than to iwi or hapū. These and other Crown acts and omissions have caused Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri prejudice.
The Agreement in Principle outlines a broad settlement package, which includes financial redress of $13 million, the option to transfer culturally significant lands to Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri as cultural redress, and shared redress between Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri and Moriori.
“While no settlement can truly compensate for the past injustices Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri have endured, it is my sincere hope that today’s Agreement in Principle paves the way towards reaching a comprehensive settlement and enduring partnership between Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri and the Crown,” Mr Little said.
Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri has a population of approximately 1,481 members and its area of interest is located on Wharekauri (the Chatham Islands).
A copy of the signed Agreement in Principle will be made available here.