Tamati Kruger releases public statement on Tuhoe Negotiations

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Ngai Tuhoe Disappointed at Loss of Nerve

The Governments decision not to proceed with an offer of settlement for our historical claims against the Crown is extremely disappointing. It reflects a failure of nerve and a loss of resolve to settle serious and longstanding grievances by a fair and just offer.

We understand Cabinet was supposed to consider an offer to us today but that the Prime Minister pulled the proposal at the eleventh hour.

Despite overwhelming public support to Tuhoe ownership of Te Urewera, which includes key Park user groups, Territorial Local Authorities and key governmental departments engaged in the negotiations, internal National Party political concerns have won out. We believe these concerns are based in superstition and not fact.

We have had clear understandings that the vesting of Te Urewera is at the heart of an acceptable settlement to our people. These are our homelands filched by the Crown who must now not hesitate to do the right and honourable thing and return it.

The Tuhoe settlement proposal prescribes a 5 10 year transition period to corroborate with the Crown to enhance bio-diversity values and conservation programmes aimed at improving public enjoyment, services and amenities. Tuhoe accepts financial responsibility for governance and management of Te Urewera. Negotiations have always taken very seriously the interests of others in the area and plan to raise the heritage and iconic status amongst domestic and international visitors.

We believe our proposals best serve the rights and privileges of all New Zealanders. It is not a situation of trading off one set of rights for another

While disappointed we will now regroup to preview our options. Our first task is to communicate the decision to Tuhoe people then seek an explanation from Cabinet in order to focus upon a way forward to an acceptable settlement.

We had believed our engagement with the Crown over the last 18 months to have been sincere on both sides and we both wanted a solution that would work for us all. We still believe that is possible.

Public Statement
Te Kotahi a Tuhoe –
Chair
Tamati Kruger

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi there Tamati Kruger,

    You may or may not remember me from Weir house (1974) – I was studying violin performance. Anyway I just wanted to offer my support to you and Tuhoe, and to say how much I admire the calm dignified and intelligent way that you are dealing with this unfortunate situation.

    Best wishes for what I am sure will one day be a satisfactory outcome,

    Andrew Kasza

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