GOVERNMENT

Four Treaty bills progressed

Thursday 20 September 2012, 1:26PM
By Christopher Finlayson
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Four bills, which will give effect to historical Treaty of Waitangi settlements for Waitaha, Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara, Ngāti Manuhiri and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei were progressed through an extra sitting period of the House of Representatives this morning.

The Waitaha Claims Settlement Bill and Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara Claims Settlement Bill passed their first readings unanimously, and will now be considered by the Māori Affairs select committee before returning to the House for second readings.

The Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement Bill and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Claims Settlement Bill passed their second readings.

“The broad cross-party support for these bills recognises the importance of settling genuine historical Treaty grievances in a full and final fashion,” Mr Finlayson said. “Today the people of Waitaha, Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara, Ngāti Manuhiri and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are one step closer to enjoying the benefits of settlement.”

“The government is committed to fixing the injustices of the past through negotiated settlement of past grievances in good faith with iwi as Treaty partners.”

The bills’ readings were moved by Maori party co-leader and Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples.

Copies of the deeds of settlement are available on the Office of Treaty Settlements’ website www.ots.govt.nz

Notes on bills

Waitaha Settlement Bill

The Waitaha Settlement Bill will settle the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Waitaha. The Waitaha area of interest includes Waimapu to Mauao, along the coastline to Maketu, and inland to Ōtanewainuku in the Bay of Plenty. The settlement includes an agreed historical account, Crown acknowledgements and apology, cultural redress that includes a $3 million education endowment fund in the name of Hakaraia Mahika, a poropiti and rangatira of central importance to Waitaha and financial and commercial redress with a value of $7.5 million.

Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara Settlement Bill

The Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara Settlement Bill will settle the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara. Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara lost virtually all of their land, which had devastating consequences for their social, cultural, spiritual and physical wellbeing. The settlement includes an agreed historical account and Crown acknowledgements, commercial and financial redress worth $22.1 million, including the transfer of Woodhill Forest. Cultural redress includes the return of Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara’s ancestral mountain, Atuanui/Mount Auckland, and eight other significant sites.

Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Bill

The Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Bill will settle the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Manuhiri. The claims of Ngāti Manuhiri relate to the loss of land and the actions of the Crown, covering the eastern coastline from Whangaparoa/Orewa to Mangawhai, including Hauturu/Little Barrier Island. Ngāti Manuhiri has around 1200 members. The settlement includes commercial and financial redress worth $9 million, as well as the return of six culturally significant sites including 1.2 hectares of land on Hauturu/Little Barrier Island.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Settlement Bill

The Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Settlement Bill will settle the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. The settlement includes financial and commercial redress worth $18 million, which includes $2 million already received by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei as redress for the 1993 Railways settlement, and the return of the culturally significant site, Purewa Creek Conservation Area.