PM delivers Crown apology to Affiliate Te ArawaPrime Minister
Prime Minister John Key today formally delivered the Crown's apology to Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The apology was given at Owhata Marae in Rotorua, at a ceremony hosted by Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, a collective of 11 Affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū.
Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa represents around 24,000 iwi and hapū members, with an interest covering over 500,000 hectares in and around the Rotorua region. The formal apology is a key part of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapū Treaty settlement with the Crown.
Mr Key delivered the apology on behalf of the Crown for past dealings that breached the Crown's obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.
"These were the failure to adequately protect tribal structures following the impact of the native land laws, the failure to actively protect the interests of Affiliate Te Arawa when purchasing land, and the failure to ensure that some iwi and hapū were left with sufficient land for their present and future needs."
Mr Key says it is an important part of the settlement process for the Crown to acknowledge and apologise for historic treaty breaches.
The Prime Minister congratulated iwi and hapū leaders for their efforts in achieving this lasting settlement and also acknowledged their crucial role in the Central North Island Forest Collective settlement, which was one of the largest in the country's history.
"Affiliate Te Arawa and the Crown can now look forward to building the future, having settled the past."
The settlement of these claims adds further momentum to the Government's 2014 target for the settlement of all historic Treaty of Waitangi claims.