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Iwi expects $9 million
Treaty settlement likely soon: Dargaville News
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
The longest running treaty negotiation to date involving Waipoua iwi Te Roroa is likely to be settled this week.
The government is to make Te Roroa an offer of $6 million which will offset costs of purchasing the properties, according to a leading Labour Party spokesman.
Labour Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis says the settlement means Te Roroa will not need to borrow to buy deferred selection properties.
Negotiations between the Crown and Te Roroa took 13 years before a deed of settlement was signed in 2005. Support for the settlement legislation had been delayed because of concerns over Te Roroa’s ability to buy some properties without incurring a debt, and the return of the sacred sites of Kaharau, Te Tararaire and Kohekohe taonga.
The settlement package contains a formal Crown apology, cultural redress including the transfer of 24 areas of Crown-owned land of special significance to Te Roroa, and a $9m combination of Crown-owned land and cash. It is good that Te Roroa will finally get redress with the return of their lands to them, says Mr. Davis. It will help iwi in the healing process and allow them to progress into the future. This settlement lays down the foundations for Te Roroa to make secure economic gains going forward which is long overdue, he says. I am pleased that the Crown has acted to settle this claim after such a long time, and I am especially pleased for Te Roroa who have had to work extremely hard for this settlement. Te Roroa Whatu Ora Trust Board chairman Alex Nathan says getting to this point is good and will allow iwi to begin stages of economic and social development for the benefit of its entire people.
Mr. Nathan says the claim area, which includes two small sections in Dargaville Township, only involves Crown-leased land and will not involve any private land.
(Note: This last statement is questionable as the Molds’ section at Waikara was a freehold title.)
A spokesperson for Minister of Treaty Negotiations Michael Cullen’s office says the third and final reading would be happening this week and the legislation was expected to get broad parliamentary support.
Large Land Purchases In Northern Wairoa Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXXII, Issue 5739, 18 February 1876