Crown and Ngāi Tuhoe sign deed of settlement

  • Christopher Finlayson
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Representatives of the Crown and Ngai Tuhoe signed a Deed of Settlement to settle the historical claims of the iwi at a ceremony at Parliament today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson and Tuhoe Chief Negotiator Tamati Kruger announced.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe chief negotiator Tamati Kruger and representatives of Tuhoe hapū signed on behalf of the iwi. Prime Minister John Key, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson, and Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples were key signatories on behalf of the Crown.

“While in some respects this is the end of a long journey for Tuhoe,” Mr Kruger said, “it is really only the very start of a better future for our people. This settlement re-connects us with our homeland of Te Urewera. It gives us a financial base with which to help our people prosper where they are born, and it provides us with the means to make choices for ourselves.”

“After many years, Ngāi Tuhoe and the Crown have finally reached a new beginning,” Mr Finlayson said.

“Over the past five years of negotiations, more and more people around New Zealand have had the opportunity to learn about the troubled past of this region. The past breaches against Tuhoe are some of the worst in the story of our nation. Land was confiscated; villages and crops burned; families killed and men executed. The relationship with their homeland whittled away despite promises. These sorry events have left a stain on the history of Te Urewera region, and on the history of the Crown in New Zealand.”

“Today we address squarely that history, which has remained ever present in Te Urewera to this day. This settlement reflects the need to make things right, and sets in place a foundation to restore the mana of both parties.”

The settlement includes Crown acknowledgements of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, a Crown Apology for those breaches; an agreed historical account of the relationship between the Crown and Tuhoe; redress which will create a new legal identity for Te Urewera and see it co-governed by Crown and Tuhoe representatives; Mana Motuhake redress incorporating a social service management plan for the Tuhoe rohe, and a financial and commercial redress package totalling $170 million.

“This is a great outcome for the Crown, Ngāi Tuhoe, and all New Zealanders,” Mr Finlayson said.

The Deed will be given effect through legislation, which will be introduced into Parliament soon.