30 Sep 2011

Rongowhakaata sign deed of settlement

6:42 pm on 30 September 2011

A negotiator from a Gisborne iwi is describing talks leading up to its Treaty claim settlement as 'terrible'.

The mist lifted to reveal a beautiful day on the East Coast on Friday for the Government and Rongowhakaata members to sign a deed of settlement.

The agreement includes an apology for the use of military force in the tribal rohe, financial redress of more than $22 million and the return of several Crown-owned properties in the Gisborne region.

Rongowhakaata's lead negotiator, Willie Te Aho, says the iwi's given much ground to the Crown.

He says settlement negotiations with the Crown are always terrible, with an approach of "no, we can't give you that".

Mr Te Aho says Maori are looking for full compensation - but the reality is the package negotiated is worth less than 3% of the value of what was lost.

Rongowhakaata also received an apology for the detention without trial of prisoners on the Chatham Islands, the summary executions of prisoners at Ngatapa in 1869, and the confiscation of land.

The return to Poverty Bay of a prized carved whare, confiscated by the Crown in 1867 and held at the Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa, will not take place until 31 March 2017 at thje earliest.