5 Mar 2015

Ruapehu iwi builds links with river hapu

7:23 am on 5 March 2015

A Ruapehu iwi says since it was included in the Whanganui River Deed of Settlement, it now has a better relationship with its kinfolk and the tribal entity that helps to look after the river.

Whanganui River

Whanganui River Photo: 123RF

Ngāti Uenuku, who are based in Raetihi, last year marched in protest against the initialling of the deed of settlement because they said they weren't consulted and their concerns weren't reflected in the document.

Ranana Marae

Ranana Marae Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Chairperson of the Uenuku Charitable Trust Aiden Gilbert said the protest was enough to get their whanaunga's attention and include them in the final Treaty settlement, Te Ruruku Whakatupua.

"When the first initialling was going down Uenuku was one of the strongest voices against that, the settling of the river, for many reasons.

"One, we didn't see our reflection in the deed; secondly, there was always this issue of the claim on the river that's been over a 120 years.

"And there was always the issue about Genesis [Energy] in terms of how compensation was to be worked out.

"At that time the noise was enough from Uenuku to put us on that deed - at the last, or the 12th hour I might add.

"The relationship is still a cordial relationship with Ngā Tāngata Tiaki [the tribal entity that helps to look after the Whanganui River]".