A Deed of Settlement has been signed between the Crown and Ngāti Paoa settling the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of the iwi.
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little said that while no settlement could fully compensate Ngāti Paoa for what had been lost, a wide range of redress had been negotiated to provide for the historical and cultural recognition of Ngāti Paoa and to regrow their economic base to provide for Ngāti Paoa’s future prosperity.
Ngāti Paoa will receive redress that includes the return of twelve sites of cultural significance and financial and commercial redress valued at $23.5 million, along with a wide range of other commercial, cultural and relationship items.
The Deed of Settlement includes an apology from the Crown to Ngāti Paoa for its failure to protect them from the rapid alienation of land in the decades following the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi, the loss of life and the devastation caused by hostilities, and the enactment of laws and policies that have led to the loss of whenua and te reo Māori.
“The Crown seeks to atone for these injustices and hopes that through this settlement it can rebuild the relationship that it established with Ngāti Paoa in 1840, begin the process of healing and enter a new age of co-operation and partnership,” Mr Little said.
The Deed of Settlement acknowledges that the confiscation of land by the Crown, the impact and operation of the native land laws and Crown purchasing left Ngāti Paoa virtually landless and undermined their economic, social and cultural development. The Crown’s failure to ensure that Ngāti Paoa retained sufficient land for their present and future needs was a breach of te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.
“The Crown acknowledges that until today it has failed to deal with the long-standing grievances of Ngāti Paoa and that recognition of, and redress for, these grievances is long overdue,” the Minister said.
Ngāti Paoa is a member iwi of the Hauraki, Marutūāhu and Tāmaki collectives and has approximately 3,500 members according to the 2013 Census.
The settlement redress will be administered the by Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust, the post-settlement governance entity, elected by iwi members.
A copy of the Deed of Settlement is available at www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-paoa/.