November 29, 2016
Treaty settlement a political compact
The chair of Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa says the settlement package accepted by Wairoa claimants is only a fraction of what they lost but it will allow them to construct a future.
The iwi and hapu claimants signed a deed of settlement on Saturday that will give them $100 million in cash and forest land as well as first rights of refusal over 147 properties held by government departments and agencies in northern Hawke’s Bay, southern Gisborne, Lake Waikaremoana and the Mahia peninsula.
They also get five sites of cultural significance to be gifted back to the Crown for the people of New Zealand.
Tamati Olsen says it was a long process and a lot of it was about the people learning what the current claim process is about.
"Our hardest hurdle to get over with our people was to get them to realise that these settlements are not fair and are not just, we're never ever going to get back everything that was taken from us that's not what they're about. Their political compact and when you can get through that, then the negotiators job is to get the best deal that they can that we can start to build a better future", says Mr Olsen.
Meanwhile, parliament is holding an extended session today to pass settlement legislation for three Taranaki iwi, Te Atiawa, Taranaki and Ngaruahine.
About 400 people from the three iwi are expected at parliament.
The bills were supposed to pass their third reading in September, but were delayed when New Zealand First withdrew its support, citing concern that the settlements would give the iwi appointments on to Taranaki Regional Council standing committees – where they will sit alongside and appointed Federated Farmers representative.
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