The Crown and Ngati Kuia have signed the first Deed of Settlement in the South Island since 1997, Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson announced today. The Deed of Settlement sets out commercial redress worth over $24 million and includes an apology for historical breaches of the Treaty, the return of culturally significant sites and other Crown properties. The Deed was signed at Te Hora Marae in Canvastown, Marlborough.
The conclusion of these negotiations is very important to the government,” said the Minister. “It demonstrates what the Crown and iwi, working together, can achieve for the benefit of iwi and the country as a whole.”
Ngati Kuia are the first of the eight iwi with interests in Te Tau Ihu (the northern South Island) to complete their settlement. Ngati Kuia negotiators initialled the Deed of Settlement on 20 August 2010, and the people of Ng?ti Kuia voted in support of the Deed with an approval rate of 99%. Ngati Kuia’s historical claims were heard at the Waitangi Tribunal between 2000 and 2004 and they began negotiations with the Crown as part the Kurahaupo ki te Waipounamu collective in 2006. The three iwi in this collective signed a Letter of Agreement outlining a broad settlement package in February 2009.
“This settlement represents a significant step towards finishing historical Treaty settlements in the South Island. Resolving overlapping claims for the eight iwi in the region has been an enormous challenge for both iwi and the Crown. Today’s signing is a testament to the Ng?ti Kuia negotiators’ skills, leadership and patience.”
“I hope that today’s success, and the successes which are just around the corner for Treaty negotiations, put the disappointing decision I recently had to make regarding Tainui Taranaki negotiations into context. The signing today is an important contributor to the government’s goal of settling all historical Treaty claims by 2014.”