12 Sep 2012

Tuhoe eye long-term autonomy

6:32 am on 12 September 2012

Ngai Tuhoe chief negotiator Tamati Kruger says the iwi could take up to 40 years to fully develop greater autonomy.

On Tuesday the iwi accepted the Crown's offer to settle historical claims in a deal worth $170 million.

The agreement also gives the tribe co-governance rights over Te Urewera National Park.

Mr Kruger says the Crown has offered through its departments and agencies to work with the tribe long-term on governing relationships and the management and delivery of services.

He says Tuhoe will eventually want to take over responsibility and accountability for as many of the services as possible.

Mr Kruger says it will be important that Tuhoe is seen as being confident and capable of managing its affairs.

But Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has ruled out any idea that the Crown's deal with Ngai Tuhoe could lead to self-governance for the iwi.

He says the Crown is addressing issues that need to be addressed and it's not about creating a new "mini state".

Mr Finlayson says Tuhoe wants to stand on its own two feet and that is a great thing.