6 Jun 2013

Treaty settlements passed into law

10:40 pm on 6 June 2013

Parliament has passed into law two Treaty of Waitangi settlements to address historic claims.

The Ngati Whatua o Kaipara Claims Settlement Bill includes an apology, financial redress worth more than $22 million and the return of nine cultural sites to the iwi.

Ngati Whatua o Kaipara covers southern Kaipara from South Head to Muriwai on the west coast, and near Wellsford to the upper Waitemata on the east coast.

Pita Sharples.

Pita Sharples. Photo: MAORI PARTY

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples told Parliament during the third reading of the bill on Thursday that the grievances stem from the Crown's unrelenting purchase of land from 1844.

Dr Sharples said a decision to individualise land titles meant that by 1900, and within a single generation, Ngati Whatua had lost 90% of its land and the remainder was fragmented, uneconomic and hard to live off.

Labour's MP for Te Tai Tonga Rina Tirikatene told MPs financial and commercial redresses are only part of the settlements.

"But what is the most aspect of the settlements, and every iwi will agree, is that it reaffirms the presence of Ngati Whatua o Kaipara, the permanence that they have to their community, to their whenua, to their ancestral landscape."

A bill to settle Waitaha claims, covering the area from Tauranga Harbour in the west to Maketu in the east, was also passed.

The settlement includes nearly $12 million in financial redress for land confiscations and pressure to sell land, a Crown apology and the transfer of several sites to Waitaha.

Parliament has also passed the first reading of Te Tau Ihu's settlement bill, which covers the top of the South Island and eight iwi and is worth $300 million.

Pita Sharples says great progress is being made on reconciliation with Maori.