Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister, Andrew Little welcomed Ngāti Rangitihi to Parliament today to witness the first reading of The Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill.
“I know it took a lot of hard work, time and patience by all parties involved to reach this significant milestone,” the Minister said.
“I am honoured to have been a part of getting this Bill through to first reading and I am pleased that Ngāti Rangitihi have accepted this settlement.”
Ngāti Rangitihi is a Te Arawa iwi based in and around Rotorua, Kaingaroa and Matatā, and has approximately 5,600 registered members.
Ngāti Rangitihi’s historical grievances against the Crown include its failure to act in good faith when leasing and purchasing Ngāti Rangitihi land blocks, excessive land taking at Te Ariki for Public Works and a failure to ensure Ngāti Rangitihi had sufficient land to support themselves in the aftermath of the Tarawera eruption.
“This settlement recognises Ngāti Rangitihi’s long standing association with land in their rohe and provides an economic foundation that I hope will benefit Ngāti Rangitihi and many generations of to come,” Mr Little said.
The settlement includes an acknowledgement, apology and redress for the Crown’s historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. Ngāti Rangitihi will receive financial and commercial redress valued at over $11 million, including $4 million financial redress and more than $7 million in commercial redress on-account through the 2008 Central North Island Forests Iwi Collective Settlement. Cultural redress includes the vesting of 19 sites of cultural significance, including the Waimangu Volcanic Valley.
Through the settlement the Crown acknowledges and apologises for failing to protect the Tarawera River from pollution associated with the Tasman Pulp and Paper mill. The settlement provides for the establishment of the Tarawera Awa Restoration Strategy Group, made up of iwi and local government representatives, that will support, coordinate and promote the integrated restoration of the mauri/wellbeing of the Tarawera River catchment.
“This settlement signals the beginning of a renewed relationship between Ngāti Rangitihi and the Crown – one based on cooperation, mutual trust, and respect for Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles,” the Minister said.
The Bill gives effect to the Ngāti Rangitihi Deed of Settlement that was signed on 5 December 2020 at Rangitihi Marae in Matatā. Settlement negotiations commenced in 2016.
A copy of the Deed of Settlement is available at www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-rangitihi/ and the Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill can be found here: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2021/0017/latest/LMS466149.html