July 24, 2014
New era for Tuhoe and Te Urewera
Parliament has passed the Tuhoe Claims Settlement Bill and the Te Urewera Bill into law, settling the historical grievances of Ngai Tuhoe and establishing a legal identity and new governance arrangements for Te Urewera.
The bills were considered in a special morning session that also heard the third reading of a bill settling the claims of the Tamaki Makaurau iwi collective.
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson says Tuhoe suffered some of the worst breaches by the Crown in the country’s history, involving large scale confiscation, brutal military campaigns targeting Tuhoe settlements, and unjust land purchases.
He says the bill includes an apology for crown actions and provides financial and cultural redress that will allow Tuhoe to build up their traditional homeland, develop opportunities for their people, and through the Mana Motuhake redress take a leadership role in delivering social services in their rohe.
Mr Finlayson and Conservation Minister Nick Smith also named the inaugural members of Te Urewera Board, which will be the primary decision maker for Te Urewera under the new legislation.
The crown appointees are former prime minister Jim Bolger, tourism consultant Dave Bamford, Conservation Authority member Jo Breese and former ambassador to the United States John Wood, who led the crown team that negotiated the settlement.
Tuhoe appointed its chief negotiator Tamati Kruger, Matiu Te Pou, Lorna Taylor, and Tuhoe Waikaremoana Maori Trust Board chair Te Tokawhakaea Temara.
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