NGATI TAMA SIGNS HEADS OF AGREEMENT

  • Doug Graham
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Rt Hon Sir Douglas Graham, has welcomed today's signing of a Heads of Agreement between the Crown and Ngati Tama.

"I am pleased to see such progress being made toward resolving the grievances of Taranaki Maori where so much land was unjustly confiscated, so many lives were lost and so much destruction was inflicted."

More than 27,000 hectares of land within Ngati Tama's rohe were confiscated following Ngati Tama's support for those who were trying to retain their traditional lands. Much of the land that was subsequently returned was subject to perpetually renewable leases to European farmers, depriving Maori of their land or a fair return on it.

Sir Douglas said Ngati Tama has been patient in waiting for its case to be fairly addressed and he paid tribute to the endurance and perseverance of the iwi.

"I hope today's Heads of Agreement will lead to a final settlement which will herald a new chapter in the life of this iwi. But first it is for each member of the iwi to vote on whether or not to accept the Crown's offer."

"It is also important for the wider public to understand that although there is a significant area of Crown land to be returned to Ngati Tama's ownership, administration will be managed jointly with the Department of Conservation and all rights of public access will be preserved."