August 05, 2014
New legal identity for Whanganui River
The Treaty Negotiations Minister wants to introduce legislation enacting the Whanganui River settlement before the end of the year.
Chris Finlayson and Whanganui iwi leaders signed the deed this morning at Ranana Marae, marking an end to claims that have been pursued by the iwi since the 1870s.
The crown balked at giving the iwi ownership of the river, instead creating a new legal framework, Te Pa Auroa na Te Awa Tupua.
Mr Finlayson says it will recognise the Whanganui River as an integrated whole from the mountains to the sea.
The parts of the bed of the river currently in Crown ownership will be vested in Te Awa Tupua, and a new position of Te Pou Tupua, comprised of one Crown appointee and an iwi appointee, will be established to advocate on behalf of the river’s interests.
Te Pou Tupua will also be responsible for administering Te Korotete o Te Awa Tupua, a $30 million fund to support initiatives relating to the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.
In addition the iwi are to get $80 million as financial redress for the settlement of their historical claims in relation to the Whanganui River and an additional $1 million to support the transitional and implementation of the settlement.
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