November 05, 2014
Treaty bills a tribute to elders
MPs have paid tribute to Te Kawerau a Maki elder Eru Thompson, who died on the eve of the settlement he signed back in February coming into the House.
The Te Kawerau a Maki Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading yesterday and was referred to the Maori affairs select committee.
Members of the iwi witnessed it from the gallery before returning to Auckland for Mr Thompson’s tangi at Makaurau Marae.
The bill includes $6.5 million of commercial redress so the iwi can acquire 86 percent of the Riverhead forest north of Auckland.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson told Parliament the iwi lost most of its land through extensive and excessive Crown purchases in first few decades after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone spoke against the provision of $300,000 in the settlement for a marae, saying it was a pittance given what the iwi had suffered.
Parliament also passed the first reading of Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill, which covers Far North iwi Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, and Te Rarawa.
There is provision in the bill for Ngati Kahu, which is yet to agree on a settlement.
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