Ngāti Tūwharetoa’s Treaty negotiators want the iwi’s members to vote yes or no for their deed of settlement with the Crown.
The Central North Island iwi’s Treaty negotiation manager, Gina Rangi, spoke to Kawe Kōrero Reporters about what the settlement claim involves.
She says, “Like all iwi, it is a fraction of what was taken from our people.”
For more than 170 years Ngāti Tūwharetoa suffered land and cultural grievances and now the iwi is looking at settling for $180m with the Crown which includes the iwi’s part of the Central North Island (CNI) Forests Iwi Collective Settlement.
Rangi says “Some of it is through the CNI on-account settlement that the Āriki Sir Tumu Te Heuheu led negotiations on in 2008.”
Ngāti Tūwharetoa received $66m through the CNI deal as well as three million carbon credits.
Rangi points out, “This part of the settlement is both commercial redress and cultural redress.”
The comprehensive settlement includes the return of 34 culturally significant sites, five commercial sites, a right of first refusal for Crown-owned land taken from the iwi and co-management with the Department of Conservation of lands within the iwi’s boundaries.
Rangi says, “Like all iwi, we lost land but in addition we lost a number of other natural resources. Our lakes and our rivers were taken by the Crown. They’ve been dammed.”
“Our geothermal fields were used for some of the biggest and first geothermal developments in the world.”
“We didn’t take any benefit of that development. We suffered all the cultural harm. We suffered all the social harm,” she says.
Rangi hopes the Ngāti Tūwharetoa comprehensive deed of settlement will be signed with the Crown before this year’s election.
Voting for the settlement closes on Monday, 27 March. If you are a descendant of Ngāti Tūwharetoa you can vote by contacting 0800 KOTAHI(568244).