23 Jan 2014

Far North iwi to sign treaty settlement at Cape Reinga

7:29 pm on 23 January 2014

The most northern iwi - Ngati Kuri - will be gathering at Te Rerenga Wairua or Cape Reinga early next month to finally sign a Deed of Settlement with the Crown.

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister, Chris Finlayson, will be there to sign the legal document on behalf of the Government after five years of negotiations.

Ngati Kuri Trust Board chairman Harry Burkhardt says it has been a long journey to get to a place where the Crown and Ngati Kuri have a better understanding of each other, and his tribe can now move forward.

He says since 1840 Ngati Kuri has suffered because the Crown refused to acknowledge the existence of his ancient iwi, its mana, tikanga and rangatiratanga.

But Mr Burkhardt says rather than focus on those years of disadvantage this settlement has created, there is the opportunity for a new conversation within his people that is focused on what their future will be like and what they are going to make of it.

The settlement involves cultural, historical and commercial redress and most importantly for Ngati Kuri, a Crown apology for not having honoured its obligations and responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The signing will take place on 7 February.