December 27, 2012
Tongariro National Park not a gift
The transfer of the Central North Island Mountains to the Crown in 1887 was a tuku, not a gift, and the Crown now needs to honour its side of the deal.
That’s the conclusion of the Waitangi Tribunal in report on 41 claims covering Tongariro National Park and surrounding lands.
Te Kahui Maunga: The National Park District Inquiry Report was released in pre-publication format on Christmas Eve.
It says Horonuku Te Heuheu’s tuku was not a gift in the English sense but an offer for the Queen to be partner or co-trustee of the mountains.
In setting up the park, the Crown failed to compensate for lands compulsorily acquired, and it did not consult with Whanganui iwi over the establishment or the subsequent governance of the park, despite its awareness of Whanganui interests in the park’s southern regions.
The tribunal recommends the partnership be restored by making Tongariro National Park inalienable, and held jointly by the Crown and iwi o Te Kāhui maunga under a new Treaty of Waitangi title.
It also recommends the park be taken out of Department of Conservation control and managed jointly by a statutory authority which comprised representatives from the Crown and iwi.
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