5 Jun 2013

Tuhoe 'settled for less' in Treaty agreement

8:33 am on 5 June 2013

A group of Tuhoe claimants says the iwi settled for hundreds of millions of dollars less than it was owed by the Crown.

The Bay of Plenty iwi signed its final Deed of Settlement at Parliament on Tuesday, which included an apology from the Crown and a $170 million compensation package.

Of the Ngai Tuhoe members who voted, 90% were in favour of accepting the agreement.

However Ngati Haka Patuheuheu, Te Upokorehe Claims Trust, and Te Apitihana group say their claims have not been resolved in the deed.

Te Apitihana group spokesperson Tama Nikora believes the value of Tuhoe land confiscated by the Crown would be worth more than $850 million today.

He says he wants the public to know how much money it is giving away by settling with for the $170 million package instead.

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi negotiations Chris Finlayson says the country can not afford to pay iwi the full amount owed to them, and claims are usually settled within a range of 2% and 5% of that figure.

Under the settlement, Te Urewera National Park will be represented by a board including delegates from Tuhoe.

Te Upokorehe kaumatua Wallace Aramoana says his tribe's territory will be added to Te Urewera National Park, which is to be governed by a new body run by people nominated by Tuhoe and the Crown.

He says the tribe is not part of Tuhoe and the deed of settlement has stripped it of its mana because it will have to seek permission from that new body to use its own land.