21 Jun 2012

Ngati Ranginui signs for $38m Treaty settlement

8:40 pm on 21 June 2012

Tauranga iwi Ngati Ranginui has signed its Waitangi Treaty settlement with the Crown, in a ceremony attended by the Maori King and Government Ministers.

Tribal members have received an apology for a colonial forces campaign that killed Maori warriors in the 1860s at Rangiriri and at Gate Pa.

Government leaders acknowledged that Ngati Ranginui suffered some of the worst grievances in New Zealand's history - including the loss of life and the raupatu (confiscation) of land.

Taxpayers are paying $38 million in compensation, returning some land, and giving the tribe first right of refusal to buy certain Crown properties.

Iwi chairman Huikakahu Kawe says the tribe's members are entitled to a bigger compensation package - but accepts there isn't much money to go around.

Though settlements are small - a fraction of the true estimate of the value that the iwi lost during the land wars - Mr Kawe says they have to accept that in today's political and economic climate, the negotiated package is the best available.