Ngāti Whare deed of settlement signed

  • Christopher Finlayson
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

The Crown and Ngāti Whare today signed a Deed of Settlement for the iwi's historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Trety of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced.

Ngāti Whare's rohe is centred around Te Whaiti, Minginui and the Whirinaki Conservation Park in the Bay of Plenty Region.

"Ngāti Whare has achieved a unique co-governance agreement which focuses on the Whirinaki Forest Park, bringing ecological and economic benefits to both iwi and all New Zealanders who will continue to enjoy this exceptional part of the country," Mr Finlayson said.

The Forest Park is integral to Ngāti Whare's cultural identity and wellbeing. The settlement also provides for a joint Ngāti Whare-Crown regeneration project that aims to regenerate up to 640 hectares of the Whirinaki Crown Forestry Licenced land adjacent to the Whirinaki Conservation Park back to indigenous forest for all New Zealanders to enjoy.

"It was just six months ago that Ngāti Whare signed an Agreement in Principle with the Crown" said Mr Finlayson.

"Reaching a Deed of Settlement so soon after this, and so soon after the complete settlement of the Central North Island Collective claim, demonstrates not only Ngāti Whare's drive toward reaching a comprehensive settlement but the Government's momentum towards settling all historical Treaty of Waitangi claims by 2014."

The iwi is part of the Central North Island collective whose financial and commercial interests were addressed by the 2008 CNI Forests Land Collective Settlement. The full and final settlement package signed today comprises cultural and historical redress including an agreed Historical Account, Crown Acknowledgments and Apology; and cultural redress that focuses on the importance of Ngāti Whare's strong historical, spiritual and cultural connection with sites within their rohe, including the Whirinaki Conservation Park.

The claims of Ngāti Whare relate primarily to the Crown's actions during the 1860s wars, the impact of the Native Land Court and subsequent land alienation, the Urewera District Native Reserves Act 1896, Crown corporatisation, cessation of indigenous forest logging and the return of Minginui without providing Ngāti Whare with sufficient resources.

The government will now introduce legislation required to implement the settlement.

Ngāti Whare was represented at today's signing by Te Rūnanga o Ngati Whāre Trustees James Carlson (Chairperson), Bronco Carson, Kohiti Kohiti, Lena Brew, Pene Olsen, Robert Taylor and Roberta Rickard.