After the Crown purchase of 500,000 acres of Rangitāne o Manawatū land in the mid 1850s, the iwi has only managed to hold possession of a mere few thousand acres. Now, the iwi will receive retribution for those injustices and the signing of its Deed of Settlement will see the transfer of significant Crown land and $13.5 million.
It’s a day of celebration for the Rangitāne iwi, a day they waited for decades.
“Today is a fantastic day, the sunshine even turned out for us, everyone here in Rangitāne is just elated” says co-chair of Rangitāne o Manawatū, Terry Hapi.
The Crown will pay $300,000 for cultural revitalisation and $13.5 mil in cash. A transfer of Crown lands back to the iwi will include Awatapu College and parts of Linton Army Camp.
According to Danielle Harris, the return of sections of Linton Military Camp was important, “The idea is to continue to build the relationship with Linton Military Camp and if the Army ever leave we'll have the first right of refusal over that property.”
“Today is the day for Rangitāne o Manawatū and I'm just so pleased after all this time that we've got there,” says the Minister of Treaty Settlements, Chris Finlayson.
Rangitāne o Manawatū will also have more control over their sacred areas and will work with the regional council to restore the most polluted river in New Zealand, the Manawatū.
“It's our mauri it sustains us day in and day out we're intrinsically linked to it so the current state that it's in is obviously a major concern to us and it's our desire to see it cleaned up within the next 20 years,” says Harris, chairperson for Rangitāne o Manawatū.
Eleven DOC sites are also vested to the iwi as they look to begin a new chapter in their journey.