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Government signs $225m Taranaki Treaty deal

Saturday 22 Dec 2012 3:30 p.m.

Minister for Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson  (file)

Minister for Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson (file)

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The Government says it has signed agreements with Taranaki Iwi to redress some of the largest and most severe Treaty of Waitangi breaches in New Zealand history, with settlement involving nearly $225 million.

"The crown actions include warfare, loss of life, scorched earth tactics and imprisonment, raupatu and disempowerment," Minister for Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson said today.

The agreements in principle with Ngaruahine and Te Atiawa and a letter of agreement with Taranaki Iwi, set out broad redress packages which include historical accounts, crown acknowledgments and apologies, and cultural, financial and commercial redress for the groups.

The financial redress includes $67.5m for Ngaruahine, $87m for Te Atiawa and $70m for Taranaki Iwi, the right to purchase crown properties and the vesting of culturally important sites such as Sugar Loaf Islands to Taranaki Iwi and Te Atiawa and the transfer of the Waitara Endowment Lands to Te Atiawa.

The parties will now negotiate towards full settlement.

"The Government is committed to resolving all historical treaty grievances," Mr Finlayson said.

The Taranaki Wars broke out in 1860 as Maori resisted selling land to Europeans. More than 700 people were killed over the next 21 years as British troops were brought in to quell Maori opposition.

The peaceful movement against the Government confiscating land grew at the Maori settlement of Parihaka.

In 1881, the government invaded and sacked the settlement, which the Waitangi Tribunal in 1996 said must "rank with the most heinous action of any government, in any country, in the last century".

The tribunal's report said Taranaki Maori were systemically deprived of their lands and were inhumanly penalised for standing by their rights.


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