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The Crown and Ngāti Rēhua-Ngāti Wai ki Aotea (Ngāti Rēhua) have signed an Agreement in Principle to settle all outstanding historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, announced Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson today.
Ngāti Rēhua is a hapū of Ngāti Wai based on Aotea/Great Barrier Island with historical grievances relating to old land claims, early Crown purchases, pre-emption waiver purchases and prejudice arising from the operation and impact of native land laws.
The Agreement in Principle outlines a broad settlement package which includes historical, cultural, financial and commercial redress to settle the historical Treaty claims of Ngāti Rēhua.
The agreement, signed on behalf of the Crown by Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples, includes financial redress of $4.6 million and a cultural redress that includes the transfer of part of Hirakimatā / Mt Hobson and Ōkiwi Recreation Reserve on Great Barrier Island, and the transfer and gift back of the Mokohinau Islands Scenic and Nature Reserve. Sites of significance within Rakitū Island Scenic Reserve will also be vested, subject to conditions including the protection of public access and the protection of conservation values.
“The Agreement in Principle marks the start of the next phase in the negotiations process with Ngāti Rēhua,” Dr Sharples said. “It’s also another important milestone for the Tāmaki Makaurau region and I’m positive we will see more milestones in this region in the coming months as we work towards settling all historical claims in a just and durable way by 2014,” he said.
“I know Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye has been working on economic development opportunities for Great Barrier Island, and it is good that she is here today to celebrate this signing,” said Dr Sharples.
Mr Finlayson says the Crown and Ngāti Rēhua will now negotiate a detailed Deed of Settlement based on the Agreement, which will then be ratified by the people of Ngāti Rēhua.
“I am hopeful that this can be concluded next year,” he said.
A settlement with Ngāti Rēhua is part of a proposal developed by Sir Douglas Graham for the settlement of claims in the Tāmaki Makaurau region. Ngāti Rēhua have been in negotiations with the Crown since June 2009.
Ngāti Rēhua is made up of descendants of Rēhua, Te Awe or Ranginui, the primary tūpuna of Ngāti Rēhua-Ngāti Wai ki Aotea. They affiliate to Kawa or Mōtairehe Marae. Their historical grievances relate to old land claims, early Crown purchases, pre-emption waiver purchases and prejudice arising from the operation and impact of native land laws.
Ngāti Rēhua’s area of interest is based primarily on Aotea / Great Barrier Island but also encompasses its neighbouring islands including the Mokohinau Islands and Rakitū Island and shared interests in Te Hauturu-o-Toi / Little Barrier Island.