Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says today is a hugely significant day for the tribal members of Ngāruahine and Ngāti Hineuru.
“I salute the courage of both of these iwi who have endured tremendous hardship spanning three centuries and yet they are prepared to settle their grievances with the Crown,” he says.
Ngāruahine had their land confiscated and their men imprisoned following the attack on Parihaka, and most of those who were imprisoned died in exile in the South Island.
Ngāti Hineuru were left virtually landless and divorced from their land following questionable Crown land purchases and massacres in which their rangatira Te Rangihīroa was killed.
Today iwi representatives gathered in Parliament to witness the first reading of their Settlement Bills.
“While we recognise treaty settlements will never fully compensate for the losses suffered by iwi like Ngāruahine and Ngāti Hineuru, they do create a new platform for iwi to progress,” says Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox.
The redress for Ngāruahine includes a formal apology, financial redress, the recognition of their kaitiaki relationship to minerals and petroleum and establishes a new relationship between eight iwi of Taranaki and their local regional council. Their Bill will allow Taranaki iwi the ability to nominate representatives on to the standing committees of the Taranaki Regional Council.
The Hineuru settlement includes a formal apology, financial redress, the return of culturally significant sites and an enhanced role in the environmental management of the area.