12 Apr 2013

Marlborough iwi to sign settlement with Crown

7:58 pm on 12 April 2013

A Marlborough iwi will be set to move forward this weekend after it signs its Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Crown.

After an 18-year journey and the recent ratification process, Ngati Rarua descendants have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the settlement package.

Ngati Rarua descendants will arrive in Blenheim about 10.30am on Saturday to witness the signing of the settlement package with the Crown.

It will include an apology for land loss, and commercial and financial redress worth $11.76 million.

The chairman of the Ngati Rarua Iwi Trust says the iwi is excited it will soon have a foundation to rebuild and develop the tribe.

Amoroa Luke says finally the Crown will acknowledge that the iwi has a deep cultural connection to almost every geographical feature in their tribal territory - which includes most of the Marlborough province to the south of Hokitika.

The iwi says the settlement has been a long time coming and they can now finally move forward after their ancestors were deprived of their customary lands which were taken off them by the Crown and private companies in 1840.