Mata­mata iwi signs agree­ment

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

Ngaati Hin­erangi iwi took a mon­u­men­tal step closer to set­tling its his­tor­i­cal Treaty claim over the week­end when rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Mata­mata-based iwi signed an Agree­ment in Prin­ci­ple with the Crown.

Around 200 peo­ple made up of whanau, neigh­bour­ing iwi, Crown rep­re­sen­ta­tives and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments ar­rived at Hin­erangi Tawhaki Marae in Okauia on De­cem­ber 12.

Among the dig­ni­taries was Min­is­ter for Treaty of Wai­tangi Ne­go­ti­a­tions Christopher Fin­layson and Mata­mata-Pi­ako mayor Jan Barnes.

Ngaati Hin­erangi’s area of in­ter­est ex­tends from Mata­mata to the Tau­ranga Har­bour and en­com­passes the Kaimai Range. ‘‘The agree­ment in prin­ci­ple marks the start of the next phase of ne­go­ti­a­tions with Ngaati Hin­erangi and rep­re­sents an im­por­tant mile­stone for both the iwi and the Crown.

‘‘This agree­ment pro­vides the ba­sis for a more de­tailed deed of set­tle­ment,’’ Fin­layson said.

The set­tle­ment pack­age in­cludes Crown apol­ogy re­dress as well as fi­nan­cial with a quan­tum fig­ure of $8.1 mil­lion, com­mer­cial and cul­tural re­dress. The set­tle­ment in­cludes trans­fer of sites in the Kaimai Range, with the con­tin­u­ance of pub­lic ac­cess guar­an­teed to all but one site of very high cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance to Ngaati Hin­erangi. All ex­ist­ing third party in­ter­ests will be main­tained by the set­tle­ment.

Ngaati Hin­erangi Trust chair­per­son Phillip Smith spoke on the day, say­ing the set­tle­ment pack­age, in its fi­nal form, will be cru­cial in cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able fu­ture for the iwi. ‘‘This is an his­tor­i­cal day for our peo­ple and with this we have the op­por­tu­nity to in­vest wisely and build a pos­i­tive fu­ture for our peo­ple,’’ he said.

Fin­layson said the sites in­cluded in the pack­age are of pro­found cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal value to Ngaati Hin­erangi and are valu­able to New Zealand as a whole.

‘‘This agree­ment bal­ances the in­ter­ests of the pub­lic, the Crown and Ngaati Hin­erangi.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.