August 05, 2014
Waitara plan win for all
A Te Atiawa negotiator says a new proposal for the Waitara endowment lands is a win for both the iwi and the community.
The New Plymouth District Council has given approval for the mayor and chief executive to strike a deal with Te Atiawa post-settlement governance entity to return 40 hectares of the historic Pekapeka Block.
In exchange the iwi will let the council give Waitara leaseholders the opportunity to freehold their properties.
Any sale or rental income would be applied for the benefit of the Waitara community through a separate legal entity established for that purpose, including representation from Te Atiawa.
Peter Moeahu says that's better than the original plan, which involved the council providing the crown with land for Te Atiawa to buy as part of its treaty settlement.
"That grated on the nerves of many of our people in that the land was actually confiscated from us and we couldn't understand why we needed to buy back land that was wrongfully taken. This provides for land to be gifted back top us, which is a far better position than what was planned some years ago," he says.
Te Atiawa hopes to complete an agreement with the council before it signs its treaty settlement on Saturday.
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