Andrew Little said the settlement was a significant milestone (File photo)
A Lower North Island iwi trust has finalised its $115 million treaty settlement with the Crown.
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua signed a deed of settlement at Te Papa in Wellington with Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little. It includes an agreed historical account, Crown acknowledgements and apology, cultural redress and financial and commercial redress.
“The settlement acknowledges the injustices of the Crown’s past acts and omissions that resulted in the alienation of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua from their culture, language and land,” he said.
“This signing marks a significant milestone in resolving the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Kahungunu in the Wairarapa and Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua regions.”
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About 68 per cent of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua respondents voted in support of the deal which included an extra $22m on the original $93m Waitangi Tribunal package signed in 2018.
The iwi have waited a long time to reach this point considering the delay in signing the Deed of Settlement since it was initialled in 2018, Little said.
The redress package includes financial and commercial redress with a total value of $115 million. It gives the opportunity for the iwi to purchase Crown-owned properties.
A significant part of the redress relates to Wairarapa Moana, adjacent wetlands and conservation land. The bed of Lake Wairarapa and two sites of cultural significance will be jointly vested as a reserve for Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua and Rangitāne o Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua, which will be enacted through a separate joint redress bill.
The public is still able to access land transferred with a reserve classification.
It also include natural resources redress included the establishment of the Wairarapa Moana Board and permanence for Te Upoko Taiao.
The settlement redress also includes the vesting of 33 cultural redress properties in Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua.
Commercial redress involves the right to purchase Ngāumu Forest Crown Forest Licensed land and sites from the Treaty Settlements Landbank and the Ministry of Education.
The Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua rohe spans from north of Dannevirke down to the Remutaka Range and according to the 2013 census has approximately 12,000 members.
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua trust has been approached for comment.