10 Apr 2014

Four Treaty settlements made law

8:15 pm on 10 April 2014

The Treaty settlement machine has been working flat out, putting four Crown-tribal agreements into law.

MPs have passed bills for tribes in Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty.

The people of Maungaharuru-Tangitu near Napier came to Parliament to witness another stage in the sub-tribe's long and troubled history, caused by war and land confiscation by the Crown.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says despite their losses, the people are determined to survive. He says the hapu suffered from the Crown's actions and in-actions, which cannot be ignored or excused.

Dr Sharples says Maungaharuru-Tangitu members were challenged on their own whenua, yet they turned up to Parliament to settle with the Crown.

Settlements for Ngati Rangiteaorere, Ngati Rangiwewehi, and Tapuika in the Bay of Plenty were also pushed through.

In her speech to the House, Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty, noted prized pieces of land were compulsory-purchased by governments of the past.

She says the tribal territories are among the most beautiful, fertile and diverse rohe (territory) in the country, describing the area as a thermal energy wonderland.

Ms Delahunty says there was colonial enthusiasm for the once sparkling rivers, pure lakes and coast, because they were so beautiful and valuable.

Her speech got a good reception from the public gallery at Parliament.

The first reading of a bill changing the governance structure of the Waitangi National Trust Board was also passed.