A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Aorangi Māori Trust Board and Crown in Takapau Central Hawke's Bay, who received a Crown apology more than 150 years on since their homelands were burned to the ground.
The Oruawharo Homestead in Takapau was once home to Aorangi hapū before their papakāinga was burned to the ground in 1864 while out fishing for their families.
"We are able to put that behind us now, it is up to us now to decide where we are heading for our future," says Tipene Heperi, chairman of the trust.
Minister of Treaty Settlements Chris Finlayson delivered the official Crown apology for land grievances which began as far back as 1851, one of the longest standing Crown grievances to be resolved.
"Even though we are well aware of our history but to hear it come from the minister's mouth on behalf of the crown it was really pleasing to hear the minister, really pleasing," says Heperi.
The MOU includes $3 million dollars, first right of refusal to 10 different properties in the Central Hawke's Bay area as well as co-management of Whatuma Lake with The Department of Conservation.
"It's not actually a treaty settlement that's been signed today but it's a very important resolution of a long standing grievance that has gone back some time," says Finlayson.
The Crown's failings acknowledged today, to protect the rights of Aorangi hapū saw 7,200 acres of land lost forcing hapū to relocate outside of their homelands, live in poverty and become dishonored.