24 Oct 2012

Te Urewera report will guide governance - iwi

7:28 am on 24 October 2012

Tuhoe says an extensive report on state control of Te Urewera will help the iwi negotiate how the land will be governed in the future.

The Waitangi Tribunal has documented documents what it calls an uncomfortable history behind the creation of Te Urewera National Park.

It says the Crown ruthlessly bought up Maori land that was supposed to be protected through the state setting up a native reserve.

The report details how title-return and joint management arrangements have been carried out successfully for national parks in Australia, and suggests the same could happen in New Zealand.

Tuhoe chief negotiator Tamati Kruger says some details of that model could be useful when the iwi finalises an agreement with Government to jointly run Te Urewera.

He says it may be of help as they explore the management, administration and governance of Te Urewera.

Mr Kruger says the report could assist if a lease is drawn up for Lake Waikaremoana.

The lake bed is owned by Tuhoe Waikaremoana Trust Board and Wairoa Waikaremoana Trust Board, a legal right recognised by the courts in 1948.

The Crown and Tuhoe are working together to develop a Treaty settlement which the tribe expects to initial by the end of the year.

New legislation will be drafted for the Maori and Crown co-governance of Te Urewera.

Ngati Ruapani claim separate

Meanwhile, the Government has assured Waikaremoana tribe Ngati Ruapani that their settlement won't be part of the resolution being sought by Tuhoe.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says the claim will be handled separately.

He had a meeting with Ngati Ruapani last week and told representatives that they would have a separate settlement - after fearing their settlement would be rolled into the Tuhoe package.