The Treaty settlement bills for two iwi, Hineuru and Ngāruahine, have passed their first readings today in an extended sitting in Parliament.
When enacted, the bills will give effect to the deeds of settlement signed between Hineuru and the Crown on 2 April 2015 and Ngāruahine and the Crown on 1 August 2014.
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson said, "The government is making great progress towards settling historical Treaty grievances, signing 48 deeds of settlement in the last six years.
Both these settlements include an agreed historical account, Crown apology and commercial and cultural redress. They are a significant step towards full and final settlement of all historical claims of the two iwi."
The settlement for Hineuru includes financial and commercial redress of $25 million, along with cultural redress that provides recognition of Hineuru’s traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual associations. This will allow Hineuru and the Crown to protect and enhance the conservation values associated with culturally-significant sites.
“For Hineuru, these claims relate primarily to war and raupatu, the operation of the native land laws and Crown land purchasing that resulted in virtual landlessness. These breaches by the Crown had a devastating effect on Hineuru and led to the migration of many Hineuru people from their traditional rohe.
“In the late 1860s, Hineuru individuals were among those captured by the Crown and imprisoned on the Chatham Islands, without trial and in harsh conditions,” Finlayson said.
Here's Ripeka Timutimu's report on the signing of Hineuru's Deed of Settlement from April this year:
The settlement for Ngāruahine includes financial and commercial redress of $67.5 million, a right of deferred selection over 10 sites and vesting of four culturally significant sites. It provides the opportunity for Ngāruahine and other Taranaki iwi representatives to sit on the standing committees of the Taranaki Regional Council and for Ngāruahine to prepare a Kaitiaki Plan in recognition of their relationship with natural resources within their rohe.
“For Ngāruahine, Treaty breaches include Crown land purchasing that led to war in Taranaki, the devastation of Ngāruahine settlements by Crown forces, the unjust confiscation of every acre of the Ngāruahine rohe in 1865 and the loss of control over those few lands that were returned.
“Ngāruahine people were among those who were arrested, transported to the South Island and imprisoned in harsh conditions for long periods without trial. They were also among those who were displaced from Parihaka when the settlement was invaded by Crown troops in 1881,” Finlayson said.
Here's Wepiha Te Kanawa's report on the signing of Ngāruahine's Deed of Settlement from March this year:
“While the Crown can never fully compensate for the wrongs of the past, these settlements will enable Hineuru and Ngāruahine to focus on developing a strong cultural and economic future,” Finlayson said.
The first readings of the Hineuru Claims Settlement Bill and the Ngāruahine Claims Settlement Bill were completed on a voice vote and the bills were sent to the Māori Affairs Committee for consideration.
Copies of the deeds of settlement are available at www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents.