14 Jun 2013

Crown says sorry to iwi over geothermal resource

7:42 pm on 14 June 2013

The Crown has apologised for failing to live up to its Treaty obligations to the Rotorua iwi Ngati Rangiteaorere.

On Friday the tribe signed its Deed of Settlement with the Government.

In the agreement the Crown acknowledges that descendants consider the Tikitere geothermal resource to be a taonga, or treasure, and was used for medicinal, spiritual and bathing purposes.

In 1953 the Crown grabbed the rights to the geothermal resource, without the tribe's consent, but the geothermal field will not be handed back.

Ngati Rangiteaorere is to receive $750,000 in financial redress.

That sum's in addition to a previous payment of the same amount of money, and the return of Te Ngae Mission Farm in 1993 - which was a partial settlement.

The Crown has issued an unreserved apology for undermining the mana and rangatiratanga of the iwi.