5 Nov 2011

Hapu settling Treaty claim

4:37 pm on 5 November 2011

Auckland's largest sub-tribe will officially settle its Treaty claim on Saturday.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei and the Crown will sign a Deed of Settlement at Okahu Bay, the site of the former marae, Te Puru o Tamaki.

The hapu will receive an apology, financial redress worth $16 million, an acknowledgement of transgressions by the Crown, and an Agreed Historical Account of what happened to its people and land since signing the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

Chair Grant Hawke says settlers poured into Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) after that point, with a voracious appetite for land and resources.

The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson says Ngati Whatua lost virtually all of its land it will right the wrongs of the past.

"This was one (process) that, in 2006, an agreement had been signed but it struck problems with hearings and cross-claims by other iwi. Well, we're through all that and we've reached this day. It's been a long time coming but it's great."

The settlement also includes the right to purchase Defence land on the North Shore.

The sub-tribe says the settlement does not return anything like the value of what was lost, but it does recognise that its grievances are legitimate.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei says it will once again have a footprint on the North Shore and can build an economic base for its people focussing on education, health, housing and the strengthening of its culture.

The deed must first be ratified by the next government; a process which could take up to a year.