7 Sep 2015

Historic apology planned for Parihaka

10:09 am on 7 September 2015

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says a planned Crown apology to Parihaka will be a history-making occasion.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Mr Finlayson said previous attempts to apologise for the 1881 sacking of the Taranaki settlement had failed, but he hoped the recommendations of a group headed by Dame Tariana Turia would be acceptable to all parties.

At the signing of the Taranaki iwi's $70 million Treaty settlement on Saturday, Mr Finlayson said a deal was being worked out for Parihaka.

Te Ururoa Flavell at the signing of the Taranaki iwi's $70 million Treaty settlement.

Te Ururoa Flavell at the signing of the Taranaki iwi's $70 million Treaty settlement. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Mr Finlayson said he had discussed it with others, including the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

"I've had a preliminary meeting with some of my ministerial colleagues and with the Prime Minister and I have to tell you that Mr Flavell and I are just very, very enthusiastic about working with Parihaka so that it's a very special event in the history of the nation."

Nataria Winikerei, 7, as the story of Parihaka is performed at the Taranaki Treaty settlement yesterday.

Nataria Winikerei, 7, as the story of Parihaka is performed at the Taranaki Treaty settlement yesterday. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Parihaka was the centre of passive resistance to the Crown in the mid-1800s, and after it was attacked and ransacked its leaders were illegally jailed in the South Island and on the Chatham Islands.

Mr Finlayson said he was hopeful of signing an agreement this year and working towards a reconciliation ceremony by the end of 2016.