26 Mar 2013

Maungapohatu people 'left out' of Treaty talks

9:11 am on 26 March 2013

One of a group of claimants who pulled away from the main Tuhoe negotiating group says it's been left out of Treaty settlement talks

An agreement reached with the Crown has been taken back to the people for ratification.

But a member of a group of claimants - Te Umutaoroa - says the people of Maungapohatu in the heart of Te Urewera National Park were not included in the discussions.

Kirituia Tumarae represents a Waitangi Tribunal claim covering Maungapohatu and says her people have never been invited to a wider negotiations meeting.

She says tribal negotiators visited Tuhoe settlements with its Deed of Settlement offer but missed out Maungapohatu.

Ms Tumarae is unhappy with the settlement because they were told by the tribal negotiating body that all Tuhoe grievances were to be put in one bucket in order to make one Treaty claim.

She says she felt each individual claim should be address by the Crown.

However, the Government has a policy for the Crown to deal with what it calls large natural groupings.

The rural settlement of Maungapohatu was founded by Maori prophet, Rua Kenana, in the early 1900s, beneath the sacred mountain, which shares the same name.

In response to the criticism, a Ngai Tuhoe leader says ongoing efforts have been made to reconcile with tribal groups unhappy with the tribe's Deed of Settlement.

Tamati Kruger says there has been regular and continuing efforts over the past five years to repair relationships.

He says regrettably none of it has been effective but he says it will not stop trying.