June 21, 2023
Ngāti Hei moves towards settlement
Hauraki iwi Ngāti Hei was at Parliament yesterday to witness the first reading of their claims settlement bill.
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says the iwi hold a unique place in New Zealand history, hosting the first recorded pōwhiri for pākehā when their paramount chief Toawaka invited Captain Cook to the fortified pā Wharetāewa in Whitianga in November 1769.
Despite these positive beginnings, the iwi felt the negative effects of European settlement even before Te Tiriti ō Waitangi was signed.
Ngāti Hei’s historical grievances relate to the promotion of laws and policies that damaged the environment, severely undermined their wellbeing, left them virtually landless, and compromised their ability to pass mātauranga Māori to their mokopuna.
The settlement includes:
• financial and commercial redress of $8.5 million.
• cultural redress including the return of 15 sites of cultural significance to Ngāti Hei.
• relationship agreements with a range of Crown agencies; and
• enacting a Māori Land Court order to vest Ohinau Island in the Mercury group in the Ngāti Hei governance entity.