25 Jun 2009

Payment made over Port Nicholson settlement

9:06 am on 25 June 2009

The Crown has paid $1.7 million to help resolve a dispute over a landmark Wellington marae.

Waatea News reports the payment was revealed in supplementary estimates being debated in Parliament this week and related to an issue that arose during negotiations for the Port Nicholson Block settlement.

Negotiator Paul Morgan says the Crown accepted it could not hand over Pipitea Marae to Taranaki Whanui claimants without compensating Ngati Poneke Maori Association, which held a perpetual lease over the land and buildings near the Wellington stadium.

He says the dispute has brought the two groups closer together, with a special general meeting of Ngati Poneke agreeing to joint management.

Mr Morgan says the meeting has voted to put the money back into the new trust which will own and run the marae.

The trust includes equal representation from Ngati Poneke and the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.

Waatea News reports the new arrangement is included in an amendment to the Port Nicholson Block Claims Settlement Bill.

The marae is due to be passed over to the new trust on 1 July.