November 05, 2014
Long haul for treaty deal
It’s been a long haul, but a settlement for far north iwi is finally before parliament.
The Muriwhenua claim was the first heard by the Waitangi Tribunal under its extended powers to hear claims back to 1840.
Hearings started at the end of 1986, and the tribunal issues its report on the land claims a decade later.
Waitai Petera, who was the youngest member on Te Runanga o Muriwhenua, was in parliament’s gallery yesterday as a negotiator for Te Aupouri.
He says the disintegration of the Muriwhenua coalition into individual iwi negotiations delayed progress, and it wasn’t until they were brought back together as Te Hiku Forum that a deal could be concluded.
"Now the timing for me is right. I think we’ve debated enough, on a lot of issues. The government has given way to quite a bit of what we wanted, from the initial offer that was put on the table. We walked away from the first offer, we weren’t happy with the second offer, the third, the fourth, the fifth offer," Mr Petera says.
The Te Hiku settlement bill covering Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto and Te Rarawa will be broken into separate bills as it proceeds through the house.
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