8 Mar 2013

Ngati Rarua close to resolution

9:08 pm on 8 March 2013

A South Island tribe is reaching the end of an 18-year journey to resolve its grievances with the Crown.

Ngati Rarua is asking its people to ratify a Deed of Settlement - a document it hopes to sign in April.

The agreement will include an apology and provide commercial redress worth almost $12 million.

The iwi originates from the western coast of the King Country and members are descended from ancestors who came to Aotearoa on Tainui waka.

Ngati Rarua, which was in danger of conquest from neighbouring tribes, moved south and eventually invaded Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island. It claimed territory from Blenheim to the south of Hokitika.

From 1840, the tribe lost customary land to the Crown and private companies.

The Deed of Settlement will acknowledge that the Crown has failed to deal with the long-standing grievances of Ngati Rarua and that it breached the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

Iwi spokesperson Hemi Toia says they've been waiting a long time for the state to say sorry.