Today Maungaharuru Tangitū Trust in northern Hawkes Bay gifted back four reserves to New Zealand. Reserves that were illegally confiscated by the Crown 150 years ago along with almost all hapū lands.
However the day's proceedings were disrupted by one kaikōrero who voiced his anger over the signing and could not be settled, so he was escorted off the marae.
"It doesn't bother me that he disagrees but there is a place and time for that, not when we are just about to sign, even though this is the marae of Tūmataenga, even though he stood there we wanted to keep the mauri with the hapū," says kaumatua for Maungaharuru Tangitū Matiu Eru.
The four reserves were included in their treaty settlement in 2013 to acknowledge the crowns illegal confiscation of around 110,000 hectares which left hapū with only a mere three acres.
Last Saturday the Crown handed back to them those reserves and today the hapū formally signed and transferred them back to the nation.
From today Bellbird Reserve, Boundary Stream Reserve, Opouahi and Whakaari knew as Flat Rock which are all in northern Hawke's Bay will all be jointly cared for by hapū and The Department of Conservation.
"This is extremely significant what's really important is to recognise that the mana of these lands has been restored in their return to the iwi but very graciously the iwi have determined that they want to share those lands and the values of those lands and the understanding of those lands with the people of New Zealand," says Mike Slater, Deputy Director General of DOC.
The partnership will mean the continued work to protect the native birds, species and landscapes against pests.