Hundreds gathered at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia to mark the 20th anniversary of the settling of the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu claim.
Iwi delegates and key figures involved in the negotiation of the 1995 settlement all attended.
A tribe progressing and remembering, bringing some to tears.
Chair of Te Arataura, Rahui Papa says, “It's been pathway that has allowed Māori today to follow the template set back then.”
Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta says, “There was a lot of talk but in their hearts it was time to move forward.”
It's been 20 years since the signing of the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu settlement. Papa says, “When it was signed there was little knowledge about the Raupatu, but being raised in the Tainui region I've seen the benefits of the return of the land.”
Mahuta says, “Behind closed doors, was the peaceful nature of my father and Queen Te Ata. They now rest in peace. Their work is complete.”
The Minister of Māori Development and former Minister in Charge of Treaty Negotiations Sir Douglas Graham arrived including former Prime Minister Jim Bolger.
Papa says, “It was that government that secured the settlement alongside Sir Te Kotahi. Secondly, they braved the criticism of Pākehā during that time to walk this path.”
A ngeri was written to commemorate the proceedings.
Tipa Mahuta says, “From what I've seen and heard, it's about the future. As it's said the young are the future leaders.”
Today a Raupatu pin and booklet were also launched.