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Representatives of northern iwi Te Rarawa have signed Terms of Negotiation under the Foreshore and Seabed Act with the Crown, Attorney-General Michael Cullen announced today.
Today’s milestone with Te Rarawa is the latest step in the significant progress that has been made on foreshore and seabed issues this year, including the landmark Heads of Agreement signed with Ngati Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui signed in February.
“This is the first step towards a positive result for both parties,” Dr Cullen said.
“That we have been able to reach agreement on the Terms of Negotiation reflects the confidence of both parties that we can work together to achieve an agreement that recognises and protects the mana of Te Rarawa in the public foreshore and seabed in their rohe.
“In 2004 the Government made a commitment to work to protect what are clearly enduring rights that have been exercised without substantial interruption before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. A significant step towards honouring that commitment was the recent signing of Heads of Agreement with the hapu of both Ngati Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui.
“Entering into Terms of Negotiation with Te Rarawa is another important step towards honouring that commitment.”
The next step in this process is to identify the specific parts of the public foreshore and seabed in the Te Rarawa rohe where the hapk of Te Rarawa would have held territorial customary rights prior to the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, and to develop an Agreement in Principle.
In the Terms of Negotiation the Crown and Te Rarawa acknowledge that there are neighbouring hapû and /or iwi that have also asserted an interest in parts of the public foreshore and seabed identified as being within Te Takutaimoana o Te Rarawa.
At a later stage, the territorial customary rights areas and the identity of the groups that held them will be subject to confirmation by the High Court.