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"We should all be proud of what the iwi of the Central North Island have achieved with this settlement" Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia said today.
"Their co-operation and discipline in forging a group that was far sighted enough to propose this settlement and strong enough to see it through should inspire us all.
"This example will be used by other Maori who have yet to enter or complete the historical settlement process.
"If Ngati Rangitihi is able to satisfy the Crown their people want to join the settlement too, within the next six months, we would welcome their participation as well.
"We all know what settlements can achieve. Tainui, Ngai Tahu and many others have taken the resources settlements provide and increased their independence and ability to act on behalf of their people. I am confident that the iwi that make up the Collective will also follow that pathway.
"When the settlement is completed they will be the largest single land-owner in the forestry sector in this country and one of the largest investors. Their future role in the industry will be positive for their members, industry participants and the wider region.
"I am also proud of the role this government has played in making this settlement work. We have been determined to do everything we can to get resources to where they can do the most good."