December 13, 2013
Ngai Te Rangi and Nga Potiki to sign off claims
The chair of Ngai Te Rangi says working towards a treaty settlement has been a unifying force for the Tauranga Moana iwi.
Elders greeted the dawn on top of Mauao this morning as the start of a four day celebration of the settlement, including the signing of the deed at Whareroa Marae tomorrow.
Charlie Tawhiao says while the $35 million settlement is a fraction of what was lost after the land wars of the 1860s, it is a chance to the iwi to set a path for the future.
He says the iwi is already stronger for the exercise.
"Looking at the bigger picture I'd have to say that it has been an intentionally unifying process for us as Ngai Te Rangi. A coming together and a restatement of who we and what we mean and why we are, those kinds of things what we mean to each other what does iwi mean, what does Ngai Te Rangi mean, and the focus of these four days is less about the settlement and it is about our Ngai Te Rangitanga and recovering and reminding ourselves of that," Mr Tawhiao says.
The signing will be shared with Nga Potiki, who are to receive a $3 million settlement, including ownership of 10 hectares of Otara Maunga.
Chairperson Colin Reeder says his iwi was badly hit by councils and government agencies taking land through the Public Works Act.
That won’t stop it getting beyond grievance and working with the Crown.
"We take our responsibility as a treaty partner with the Crown very seriously and we intend to utilise those relationships and draw upon them in the interests of our people, so the whole intent with respect to the Nga Potiki claim is to really future proof our people and provide a legacy for our children and their children," Mr Reeder says.
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