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Ngti Apa (North Island) Deed of Settlement Initialling

Thursday 4 September 2008, 1:05AM

By Michael Cullen

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Ngti Apa (North Island) and the Crown have initialled a Deed of Settlement that covers all of Ngti Apa’s (North Island) historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

Ngti Apa (North Island) have more than 3,200 members and are based in the Rangitikei region. Their claims relate primarily to the Crown’s purchase in 1849 of the 260,000 acre Rangitikei-Turakina Block, including the subsequent failure to adequately protect approximately 35,000 acres of reserves set aside from this transaction.

The settlement includes:

• An historical account, Crown acknowledgement of historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles and a Crown apology to Ngti Apa.

• A cultural redress package featuring the transfer of a number of sites of cultural significance to Ngti Apa (North Island).

• A quantum of $16 million, including the opportunity to purchase 6,500 hectares of Crown forest license land.

“Initialling a Deed of Settlement represents the end of formal negotiations,” Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister, Michael Cullen, said.

“The people of Ngti Apa (North Island) will now have the opportunity to consider the proposed settlement, and vote on whether or not to accept it. A formal ratification process ensures that settlements are broadly accepted and will stand the test of time,” Dr Cullen said. Ratification closes on 27 September 2008.

“Progress in negotiations to date is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Ngti Apa (North Island) negotiation team and their focus on solutions throughout negotiations with the Crown.”

If the settlement is ratified, it will be signed by both parties, and a governance entity will be established by Ngti Apa (North Island) to receive the settlement redress. The Crown will then introduce legislation to implement the settlement and finalise Ngti Apa (North Island)’s claims. This is likely to take place during 2009.