19 Sep 2019

Ngāti Hinerangi settlement has first reading in parliament

3:35 pm on 19 September 2019

The legislation for Ngāti Hinerangi's Treaty settlement has had its first reading in Parliament.

Ngāti Hinerangi trustee Philip Samuels initialling the Ngāti Hinerangi Deed of Settlement in December

Photo: Supplied / by Ngāti Hinerangi Trust

Under the Settlements Act of 1863 the Crown confiscated 100,000 hectares of land in Tauranga, including areas within the Ngāti Hinerangi rohe.

Four years later, government forces invaded several Māori villages in Tauranga, destroying crops and homes, to punish those who opposed the land confiscation.

Ngāti Hinerangi is set to receive an apology, as outlined by the government's deed of settlement document.

"The Deed of Settlement also includes Crown apology to Ngāti Hinerangi for its acts and omissions which breached Crown obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and for the resulting damages to Ngāti Hinerangi," it said.

"These include the Crown's responsibility for the outbreak of war in Tauranga in 1864, the injustice of the raupatu that followed, and the unreasonable tactics used during the 1867 bush campaign.

"The Crown Apology also acknowledges the Crown's promotion of laws and policies that facilitated the loss of Ngāti Hinerangi's remaining lands, which contributed to the economic and social marginalisation of Ngāti Hinerangi within their own rohe."

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said the iwi had suffered a great deal as a result of Crown injustices.

"This land loss was the major factor that resulted in the cultural and economic marginalisation of Ngāti Hinerangi. As a result of the Crown's acts and omissions, Ngāti Hinerangi became virtually landless, loss their autonomy and connection with their environment and suffered from severe social and economic deprivation.

"Through this settlement the Crown seeks to atone for its past injustices that it has inflicted upon Ngāti Hinerangi and to provide more opportunities for Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown to move forward."

He also commended Ngāti Hinerangi for how it was able to resolve overlapping interests with other iwi.

"They're a small iwi and they have interests in Tauranga Moana as well, they've managed to resolve their overlapping interests with Tauranga moana with no friction at all and we're at the point now today where four months after signing the deed of settlement we're doing their first reading."

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones said the first reading was a milestone for the iwi, which had reaffirmed its identity through the settlement process.

"This is not only an historic day for the people that belong to Ngāti Hinerangi, but it is the fulfillment of a journey. As colonisation displaced historic Māori tribal groupings, many are the kin groups that have disappeared into the mist of history assimilated by different tribal names.

"This tribe, Ngāti Hinerangi, are here to affirm they are a legitimate identity in that part of the Māori landscape. That they have rights, they have interests, and they have mana."

The iwi will receive $8 million dollars and five properties that include land occupied by Manuwaru School and the Matamata police station.

It will also enter a co-governance arrangement over the upper part of the Waihou and Piako catchments.

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