Turangi Township Claim Settled

  • Doug Graham
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Rt Hon D.A.M. Graham, and members of Ngati Turangitukua today signed a Deed of Settlement on the Turangi township claim.

Ngati Turangitukua's grievances arose from Crown breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi during construction of the Turangi township following the decision to proceed with the Tongariro power scheme in the mid-1960s.

The negotiated settlement follows the Waitangi Tribunal's remedies report on the claim which, for the first time, made interim binding orders for the resumption of properties subject to Section 27B of the Treaty of Waitangi (State Enterprises) Act 1988.

The Crown and Ngati Turangitukua had 90 days to negotiate a settlement and avoid the orders becoming binding.

Mr Graham said he was delighted with the outcome which reinforced the value of negotiations to resolve Treaty claims.

'Today's Deed, which contains a mix of fiscal and non-fiscal redress, together with a clear acknowledgement of the Crown's Treaty breaches, will help restore Ngati Turangitukua's mana and rangitiratanga. '

Mr Graham paid tribute to the Taupo District Council's assistance in reaching a settlement with Ngati Turangitukua.

'The Council, along with Environment Waikato, recognised that this was a chance to build a positive relationship with Ngati Turangitukua and I am intensely grateful for their support and assistance.'

The parties to the settlement will now ask the Tribunal to cancel the interim orders on 14 of the 15 former Crown-owned properties, Mr Graham said.

The one remaining property, Turangitukua House, will be purchased by the Crown and gifted to Ngati Turangitukua in recognition of its importance to the hapu as a wahi tapu site.

'Once the settlement is finalised, section 27B memorials will be removed from all former Crown-owned property in Turangi,' he said.

'Today's signing of the Deed will remove a lot of uncertainty within the township and will provide a platform for future development for the whole community.'

Rose Hart
Press Secretary
(04) 4719 885 (w)
(04) 4793 856 (h)

NB: A background briefing is attached to this Press Release The Turangi Township Settlement


The Turangi claim arises from the Crown's decision to proceed with the Tongariro power scheme in the mid 1960s and the subsequent construction, on land formerly owned by the tangata whenua, Ngati Turangitukua, of the township of Turangi.

Ngati Turangitukua registered their claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in 1989, the claim was heard under urgency in 1994 and the Tribunal's report was issued in September 1995.

The Tribunal found that although Ngati Turangitukua gave their conditional agreement that Turangi township be built on their land, the Crown breached the conditions. The Crown also breached the Treaty of Waitangi in a number of ways. These included:

Maori land at Turangi West was acquired when Crown owned land at Turangi East was available

Consultation with Ngati Turangitukua was inadequate

The Crown had promised to take no more than 800-1000 acres for the township but took 1665 acres instead

Land for industrial purposes was compulsorily acquired rather than leased for 10-12 years as promised

Compensation for land acquired was inadequate

Wahi tapu were destroyed or damaged during construction of the town

Conservation values were not fully supported by the Crown in the development of the town

The Crown did not pay Ngati Turangitukua full respect as tangata whenua

The use of the Public Works Act 1928 and the Turangi Township Act 1964 to acquire land was inconsistent with the guarantee contained in Article Two of the Treaty of Waitangi that Maori may keep their land until such time as they wish to sell.
Following the release of the report the Crown and Ngati Turangitukua entered negotiations to try and reach a settlement of Ngati Turangitukua's grievances.

These negotiations broke down in June 1996 and the Waitangi Tribunal granted Ngati Turangitukua a remedies hearing. The Tribunal's remedies hearing report was released in July 1998 and made interim binding orders that 15 commercial properties with section 27B memorials attached to their titles be returned to Ngati Turangitukua. Eight of these properties are in private ownership.

This was the first occasion on which the Tribunal had made interim binding orders under the Act. The Crown and the claimants then had 90 days to negotiate an alternative before the Tribunal's interim binding orders took effect.

The Settlement Deed
The settlement is made up of a number of elements and includes an apology from the Crown, cash and property totalling $5 million, plus the gifting of a culturally significant property, Turangitukua House, agreement to return ownership of reserves (but without any change in management or public access), commitments covering wahi tapu, conservation values, environmental management and name changes.


Crown Apology
The Crown apologises to Ngati Turangitukua for its failure to consult fully prior to the development of Turangi township, for the destruction of some wahi tapu during construction of the town, for the Crown's failure to mitigate the trauma and social impact of the development of the town and for the failure to pay due respect to Ngati Turangitukua as tangata whenua. The Crown also acknowledges it breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in relation to its undertaking to acquire the leasehold of the industrial block in Turangi township.

Money and Property
The fiscal compensation is $5 million, made up of Crown properties and cash, plus the gifting of a culturally significant property, Turangitukua House.

Crown properties with long-term leases transferred to Ngati Turangitukua (at market value) under the settlement are: the Turangi Police Station, the Department of Conservation Headquarters at Turangi, the land under Tongariro High School

An undeveloped block of land owned by Landcorp and used as a pony club will transfer to Ngati Turangitukua at market value

Ngati Turangitukua will have a right of first refusal over the future sale of specific properties owned by the Crown, ECNZ and NZ Post within the Turangi township

Two Department of Conservation properties the Department was already moving to divest will be transferred to Ngati Turangitukua.
The Crown will gift Ngati Turangitukua a property known as Turangitukua House which was the site of an important Ngati Turangitukua wahi tapu (the burial place of a Ngati Turangitukua ancestor, Ria) destroyed during construction of the township. The property is currently privately owned but was sold with a 27B memorial attached which meant it was available for use in any subsequent Treaty settlement. It will be acquired under the Public Works Act and the owner will be fully compensated.

Conservation and Cultural

A protocol will be established between the Department of Conservation and Ngati Turangitukua which provides for Ngati Turangitukua's input into conservation management within its rohe

The Taupo District Council has agreed to consult Ngati Turangitukua on ways to identify and preserve wahi tapu sites

Environment Waikato has undertaken to investigate Ngati Turangitukua's concerns about water quality and contamination and facilitate a kaitiaki group to monitor and maintain the quality of the waterways around Turangi

Title to nine reserves in or close to Turangi vested in or owned by the Taupo District Council will pass to Ngati Turangitukua. These reserves include Turangi Park, McLaren Park, Kaheke St Reserve, Waipapa Reserve, Firebreak Reserve, Taupehi Reserve, Cherry Grove Reserve and the Water Supply Reserve. Taupo District Council will continue to manage and control the reserves and there is no change to public access

The Department of Conservation's Admirals Reserve will be renamed Waikari Recreation Reserve

The Ministry for the Environment will monitor the performance of Environment Waikato and the Taupo District Council generally and in relation to the commitments they have given Ngati Turangitukua.
In addition, the Turangi/Tongariro Community Board of the Taupo District Council will discuss name changes for certain specified streets and reserves in Turangi.

Ancillary Claims
The Crown has agreed to set up a separate legally enforceable process for the resolution of the remaining 38 ancillary claims made by individuals or families in relation to harm or damage caused as a result of the development of Turangi township or the power scheme.

These ancillary claims were dealt with separately from the Treaty claims process and some have already been resolved.

Cancellation of Binding Orders and Lifting of Memorials
In accepting the settlement, the Crown and Ngati Turangitukua have agreed:

To ask the Waitangi Tribunal to cancel the interim binding orders (except that for Turangitukua House) made in the Tribunal's remedies report released in July. To comply with legislative requirements, the Crown and claimants will meet the Waitangi Tribunal prior to the 90 day deadline of 5 October; and

That settlement legislation will lift all section 27B Memorials on Turangi township properties.
Questions and Answers
What is a section 27B memorial?

Section 27B memorials were provided for in 1988 under the Treaty of Waitangi (State Enterprises) Act and followed a challenge by the New Zealand Maori Council to the Crown's intention to transfer land to State Owned Enterprises. The Council argued that such land would be needed for future Treaty claims.

The memorials were placed on all land transferred to State Owned Enterprises under the State Owned Enterprises Act of 1986. The memorials remain on titles when land is sold into private ownership by SOEs and memorialised properties are sold on the understanding that they are available for potential use in future Treaty settlements.

What about the Tribunal's binding orders?

The Tribunal was given the right to make binding orders under the same legislation that initiated the registration of section 27B memorials on property titles. The right to make binding orders applies only to properties with memorials attached.

If the Tribunal made binding orders, why is there now a negotiated settlement?

The Tribunal's orders were interim. The Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 gives the Crown and the Treaty claimant 90 days in which to reach agreement on a negotiated settlement before the interim orders take effect.

What happens to private owners of properties with section 27B memorials?

If their property is required for a settlement the land is acquired under the provisions of the Public Works Act and they receive full compensation. One privately owned memorialised property, of particular cultural significance to Ngati Turangitukua, will be acquired by the Crown for return to the hapu as part of the settlement. Today's settlement removes the possibility of any further acquisition of private properties in Turangi (with Section 27B memorials on their titles) for use in Treaty settlements.

How many properties in Turangi have section 27B memorials on their titles?


Will all these be removed as part of the settlement?

Yes, as soon as the enacting legislation is passed by Parliament.

Is public access to reserves affected?


What happens now?

Aspects of the Deed will require legislative authority to be implemented. This is expected to happen in the 1999 Parliamentary session.