29 Mar 2012

Mahuta commends push to restore Maori place names

8:18 pm on 29 March 2012

Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta is applauding Ngati Whare for pushing the Crown to acknowledge the mana of its place names in its Treaty Claims Settlement Bill.

The Ngati Whare Claims Settlement Bill had its third and final reading in Parliament on Thursday to settle historic claims for the central Bay of Plenty iwi.

The legislation also sets out a package for cultural redress and includes a $1 million payment to help manage the regeneration of 609 hectares of Whirinaki Crown forest land which is gifted to it.

Ms Mahuta says the Treaty settlement process has allowed iwi to put right past injustices including restoring original Maori place names.

She says she would like to hope that tribes shouldn't have to go through Treaty settlements to rectify the mis-spelling of Maori place names, and then go to the National Geographic Board to determine what is correct.

Ms Mahuta says Treaty settlements are an opportunity to put a stake in the ground and many Maori place names are not spelt correctly.

She says as a matter of course, in terms of ensuring New Zealand's history is told with the inclusion of Maori, those names should be corrected.

The package also includes the return of five wahi tapu sites amounting to 10.3 hectares.