Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Taranaki claims Bill passes third reading

Ngā uri o Ngāti Maru witnessed the third reading of the Ngāti Maru (Taranaki) Claims Settlement Bill at parliament today, marking the last of the eight Taranaki iwi to reach this final milestone in their historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.

Ngāti Maru (Taranaki) rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley and extends from Taranaki Maunga east to the upper Whanganui River.

“I want to acknowledge the efforts of ngā uri o Ngāti Maru and the Crown negotiators for all their hard work to reach this important day,” Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister, Andrew Little said.

“This is the beginning of a new relationship between Ngāti Maru and the Crown – one based on cooperation, mutual trust and respect.”

The historical grievances of Ngāti Maru arise from the dispossession and displacement of Ngāti Maru from their whenua, following the Crown’s confiscation of most of their traditional lands in the 1860s.

Ngāti Maru also experienced loss and erosion of tribal structures during the nineteenth century, and were deprived of ownership of lands through the Crown’s poor management of reserves set aside for the iwi, the Minister said.

“As part of their settlement package, Ngāti Maru will receive financial and commercial redress of $30 million, including the purchase of Te Wera Forest.”

“Cultural redress includes the vesting of 16 sites of deep cultural significance, including properties located in Tarata, Pūrangi, and two sites along the Tangarakau and Whangamomona Rivers.”

Through this settlement the Crown also acknowledges and apologises for its imprisonment and exile of Ngāti Maru people engaged in peaceful protest at Parihaka, he said.

“This package recognises the longstanding association Ngāti Maru has with the whenua and provides an economic foundation that I hope will benefit many generations of Ngāti Maru to come.”

“While no Treaty settlement will ever be able to compensate Ngāti Maru for the loss they have suffered, I sincerely hope this settlement will go some way to atone for these injustices.

“Now, we have a new opportunity to work together in true partnership for the betterment of Ngāti Maru and the wider rohe,” said Minister Little.

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