August 06, 2014
Joy at river settlement
Whanganui treaty negotiator Gerrard Albert says the iwi feels sheer joy and relief it has got the settlement of its historic river claims over the line.
Almost 1000 people gathered at Ranana yesterday to witness the deal which includes giving the river its own legal identity, Te Awa Tupua, and creating a body with iwi and crown representation to oversee its use and protection.
Mr Albert says Whanganui iwi have upheld the mana of the river for 1000 years, but over the 150 years of the claim the crown has sought to control the river and downgrade the role of the iwi.
He says it will take time to turn things around.
"What we've created is an understanding what the river is and to ensure everyine is responsible towards what that river is now and ensure that they uphold their particular responsibilty and part of that of course is recognising the mana of the iwi, because the mana of the iwi stems from the river's mana," Mr Albert says.
With the river settled, Whanganui now has a sound foundation to negotiate a settlement of historic land claims.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH GERRARD ALBERT CLICK ON THE LINK
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