Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson has welcomed the third part of the Waitangi Tribunal’s report on Te Urewera, and says its findings show why it is so necessary for the Crown to address the issues in the report.
"The events described in detail emphasize why the settlement of Ngāi Tuhoe’s grievances and historical claims is a high priority for this government," Mr Finlayson said. "Clearly the Crown took some appalling actions in relation to Ngai Tuhoe and other iwi in the Urewera region, and we need to address those wrongs."
In September, the Crown and Ngāi Tuhoe negotiators announced heads of agreement towards a comprehensive deed of settlement regarding Tuhoe’s claims over Te Urewera.
It is proposed that Te Urewera will have its own legislation, exist as a separate legal identity, and will be governed by a new Board with members appointed by the Crown and Ngai Tuhoe. Ngāi Tuhoe will have an increasing role in management over time, with the Department of Conservation also retaining a role.
"This report outlines the history of the region and makes findings of Treaty breach, but does not make recommendations," Mr Finlayson said "I am confident that the redress we are developing in relation to Te Urewera responds to the Tribunal findings".