Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Te Korowai o Wainuiārua and Crown sign Deed of Settlement

The Crown and Te Korowai o Wainuiārua iwi groups have signed a Deed of Settlement at Raetihi Marae today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, has announced.

“Today’s signing is a significant milestone for the people of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua and the Crown that represents the end of negotiations and the beginning of a new partnership,” Mr Little said.

“I want to acknowledge Te Korowai o Wainuiārua and the Crown negotiations teams for working tirelessly during the negotiations process to reach this point.”

Te Korowai o Wainuiārua represents Tamahaki, Tamakana and Uenuku iwi groups in the Central Whanganui region. Their area of interest includes the central Whanganui River, parts of the Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks, and the townships of National Park and Raetihi.

Te Korowai o Wainuiārua’s historical grievances relate to warfare and the imposition of martial law in Whanganui. The Crown acquired land that would later become Tongariro National Park without consulting Te Korowai o Wainuiārua or paying compensation. It also acquired land for public works for defence, electricity generation and railways, which resulted in Te Korowai o Wainuiārua becoming virtually landless.

The Deed includes a Crown apology, an agreed historical account, and financial and cultural redress for historical breaches of the Treaty that caused harm to Te Korowai o Wainuiārua.

The redress package includes:

  • $21.7 million in financial and commercial redress;
  • $6.8 million in cultural funding;
  • The return of 19 sites of cultural significance and 12 commercial properties, including Crown forestry land at Erua, and the former prison site at Waikune;
  • Conservation management redress to support establishment of a predator-proofed ecosanctuary at Pōkākā, and a seat on the Tongariro-Taupō Conservation Board;
  • Relationship agreements with a range of Crown agencies.

“While no Treaty settlement will be able to compensate Te Korowai o Wainuiārua for the loss they have suffered, it is my sincere hope that the Treaty Settlement will be a foundation for the restoration of the wellbeing of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua people and their lands,” said Minister Little.

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