23 Oct 2012

Te Rarawa to sign deed of settlement

6:35 am on 23 October 2012

Te Rarawa, the largest of the Muriwhenua tribes in the Far North, will sign its deed of settlement with the Crown next weekend.

The five iwi from the tail of the fish have been negotiating with the Government for more than a decade to resolve their Treaty of Waitangi grievances.

It is 15 years since the Waitangi Tribunal upheld the claims in its Muriwhenua report.

The signing on Sunday will begin with church services at Te Ahu centre in Kaitaia.

The date of 28 October has an added significance for Te Rarawa. It is the day their tupuna (ancestors) signed He Whakaputanga o Te Rangatiratanga - the New Zealand Declaration of Independence - in 1835.

Te Rarawa chief Haami Piripi said the event will be momentous but not quite a celebration, as it will also evoke thoughts about what the iwi has lost and can never recover.

However, he said the signing will mark a new beginning and new hope for the future.