Saturday, July 20, 2024

Whakatōhea and the Crown sign Deed of Settlement

A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Whakatōhea and the Crown, 183 years to the day since Whakatōhea rangatira signed the Treaty of Waitangi, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, has announced.

Whakatōhea is an iwi based in the Bay of Plenty and its six hapū include Ngāi Tamahaua, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Ngahere, Ngāti Patumoana, Ngāti Ruatākena and Te Ūpokorehe, with a population of around 16,000 members.

“The signing of this Deed of Settlement follows three decades of negotiations between Whakatōhea and the Crown and marks the beginning of a new relationship based on trust, co-operation and partnership as was intended 183 years ago,” Minister Little said.

“Reaching this milestone on the path to settlement has not been without its challenges, but this is a major step towards realising the aspirations of Whakatōhea for its people today and future generations to come.”

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

The redress package includes:

  • The reservation of 5,000 hectares of marine space for aquaculture – a first in Treaty settlements to date;
  • More than $100-million financial, cultural, and commercial redress;
  • The transfer of 33 sites of cultural significance, bespoke natural resource and conservation arrangements;
  • Relationship agreements with core Crown agencies.

“It is fitting that the Deed of settlement signing was held here today in Ōpōtiki, where Whakatōhea rangatira signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi those many years ago with a vision of prosperity for their people.”

“While no settlement can fully compensate for the Crown’s past injustices, it is my sincere hope this redress package will support the economic future, the aspirations and prosperity of Whakatōhea for many generations to come,” Mr Little said.

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