June 04, 2013
Tūhoe deal signed but grievances unsettled
Tūhoe negotiators yesterday signed off on a $170 million treaty settlement, but elements in the tribe are concerned at the price paid to lay historic grievances to rest.
Kaumatua Tama Nikora, the long time secretary of the Tūhoe Māori Trust Board, says many in the tribe wanted to wait until the Waitangi Tribunal had completed its reports into the grievances, but the government favoured the faction willing to enter direct negotiations.
He says the outcome will leave many unsatisfied.
"None of the claims are being addressed by the Crown. The Waitangi Tribunal (reports) have not been addressed yet. The whole thing is flawed. The Crown is rushing it, it’s not really talking about it and that is what we want. We want to talk about our own claims and feel satisfied we are treated well in justice," Mr Nikora says.
He says many of the claims in Te Urewera relate to land taken unjustly or fraudulently from specific hapū, and it’s not right to extinguish them with a general iwi settlement.
Meanwhile, more than 1000 Tūhoe people were at parliament yesterday to witness the signing of the settlement.
Te Kotahi ā Tūhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger said it was the start of a better future for the people, reconnecting them with their homeland of Te Urewera and giving the tribe a financial base to help its people prosper where they are born.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson said it was a new beginning after past breaches against Tūhoe was some of the worst in the story of the nation.
A formal apology will be made for what Mr Finlayson called a brutal military campaign against the tribe.
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