May 31, 2023
Settlement one step in long journey for Whakatōhea
An expert on Te Whakatōhea history says the tribe’s $100-million dollar treaty settlement is just the beginning of the journey towards the full recovery of their mana.
At the weekend Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Andrew Little signed the deed of settlement and gave a formal Crown apology for breaches of the treaty, including the invasion of its eastern Bay of Plenty rohe in the 1860s and the confiscation of more than 140 thousand acres of its land.
Te Kāhautu Maxwell, an associate professor at Waikato University’s Faculty of Māori and Indigenous studies, says his people know the settlement returns just a fraction of what they lost, but it can still lay the foundation for a better future.
“We all know the Crown is the thief, and the Crown is the Judge, and the Crown is the juror, so it works in the Crown’s favour. But we are very, very grateful because $100 million dollars will allow us to forge new frontiers and heal our people,” he says.
Dr Maxwell says it took 158 years since the raupatu to get this far – and while it has been painful, the focus must now be on their mokopuna.