26 Jul 2012

Parliament works overtime to pass four Treaty bills

7:00 pm on 26 July 2012

Parliament has been sitting under extended hours, to pass four Treaty settlement bills.

They include apologies from the Crown for historic events in which there was loss of life, imprisonment without trial, summary execution of prisoners and confiscation of land.

The four bills resolve grievances for Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Ngati Makino and descendants of the Maraeroa A and B Blocks.

The chairperson of Te Maru o Rereahu Trust, set up to drive the claim for Maraeroa blocks, Brian Stanley, says it's been an emotional journey.

He says reaching the third reading is one step forward and reflects more than a decade of negotiations with the Crown.

A Rongowhakaata kaumatua Lewis Moeau says the iwi has spent nearly a decade negotiating with the Crown.

He says one triumph for his people is that the apology acknowledges the tribe's ancestor, Te Kooti Rikirangi Te Turuki, who created a faith still followed today.

Mr Lewis says it means that the positive stories of their ancestor will be told, which he says includes how he created the Ringatu faith.

Financial redress for the iwi claims range from between $11 million and $22 million.