Government settles historic Taranaki Maunga claim with Taranaki iwi

The Crown has reached a historic agreement with Taranaki iwi to officially recognise that Taranaki Maunga isn't owned by anyone.

It's part of a redress package aimed at righting the wrongs of Crown actions more than 150 years ago, when it confiscated the mountain from Māori.

Taking the final steps in a journey that's been years in the making, the Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little was welcomed onto Ōwae Marae on Friday to deliver a historic settlement.

"The relationship between the ngā iwi o Taranaki (Taranaki iwi) and Crown has been characterised by grave Crown failures from almost the very beginning," he said.

In 1865, the Government confiscated Taranaki Maunga from local Māori as punishment for rebelling against the Crown during the Taranaki Wars.

"The Crown not only failed to recognise the rangatiratanga of the hapū, and iwi of Taranaki, but treated them with disdain," said Little.

More than 150 years on the Crown has admitted its actions were wrong, signing a historic deed of redress today.

"The fight has been fought for a long time before us, and so this is really the culmination of hundreds of years of work on behalf of our tūpuna," said Treaty negotiator Liana Poutu.

"Today has been 172 years in the making, so it's a very significant and historic day," said negotiator Jamie Tuta.

The deed includes shared governance of the National Park, which is formal recognition the maunga effectively owns itself.

And Egmont National Park will be renamed to Te Papakura o Taranaki.

Hundreds of uri (descendants) of Taranaki iwi attended the historic signing at Ōwae Marae.
Hundreds of uri (descendants) of Taranaki iwi attended the historic signing at Ōwae Marae. Photo credit: Newshub.

"Today signifies the start of a new kind of relationship that we're all going to have, and signifies we all have a responsibility to care for our maunga."

The deal was signed in front of hundreds of descendants who wanted to witness history being made.

"It's hugely important it's a new way forward for our iwi, said one Taranaki uri (descendant) at Ōwae Marae.

"It's a day that we honour the maunga, not only as a piece of land but [also] part of who we are."

A historic day not only for the Crown and Taranaki iwi, but Aotearoa too.