December 17, 2015
Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa ready to settle
A far north iwi will today sign a deed of settlement, eight years after a previous attempt to sign an agreement in principle was abandoned in the face of rancorous protest.
In the intervening years the crown has sweetened the pot for Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa, adding a cash settlement on top of the return of more than 3000 hectares of land.
In 2007 the then treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen arrived by helicopter at isolated Taemaro Bay, but quickly left again when confronted by members and supporters of Ngati Aukiwa hapu.
Hapu members have been occupying the former Lands and Survey Stony Creek Station on the basis their grandparents were last to leave, even though the crown had appropriated the title from the whole tribe decades earlier.
As well as Stony Creek, the iwi gets other crown held blocks in the area.
It also gets more than $6 million in commercial redress and a further $300,000 in cultural redress, which will be used to develop and implement a historic reserve management plan for the Kowhairoa Peninsula.
Current minister Christopher Finlayson will hope this morning’s ceremony at Otangaroa Marae will go more smoothly than the one convened by Dr Cullen.
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