It's a historic day for the tribes of Te Kāhui Maunga who welcomed the findings of a Waitangi Tribunal report into the WAI 1130 claim.
Che Wilson of Ngāti Rangi believes, “Our grievances have not been satisfied, far from it.
However we can now work towards a better outcome in achieving the dream and aspirations of the tribe.”
The Kāhui Maunga is a collective of tribes who have links to Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu, Pihanga, Hauhungatahi and Kakaramea.
The Waitangi Tribunal has found the Crown committed a string of Treaty breaches against Central North Island iwi when the Tongariro National Park was created and concluded that the Crown failed to consult iwi or compensate them for lands acquired.
It also finds the Tongariro power scheme's impact on lakes and rivers has led to a loss of water quality, habitat and food and fish resources - particularly at Lake Rotoaira.
It finds the Crown was wrong to believe that Tūwharetoa had gifted Queen Victoria the cluster of mountains in 1887, and therefore the subsequent formation of the country's first national park was in breach of the Treaty.
Te Kahui Maunga descendent Napa Otimi says, “We are supporting what the Tribunal has presented here; we also acknowledge that the road ahead has many tasks in front of us.”
Today reaffirms the spiritual and physical connection the Kāhui Maunga collective has to the land.
The Crown's misinterpretation of the concept of “tuku” was clearly identified by the Waitangi Tribunal.
The Tribunal's recommendations include joint ownership of the National Park between Te Kāhui Maunga and Crown that acknowledges Te Kāhui Maunga connection and ownership to water.
The Waitangi Tribunal hopes that the recommendations made in the report assist the Kāhui Maunga collective and Crown as they enter into negotiations over the settlement of their claims.