28 Sep 2011

Treaty progress heralds opportunities for rural iwi

7:44 am on 28 September 2011

A rural North Island tribe is considering investing in the dairy industry after taking a step closer to settling its outstanding Treaty of Waitangi claim.

Ngati Raukawa, which is spread around the Tokoroa-Putaruru areas, has initialled its Deed of Settlement - a move towards resolving its grievances with the Crown.

It is now up to members to vote on the offer, which includes cultural, commercial and financial redress.

Ngati Raukawa's lead negotiator, Chris Mckenzie, says the iwi is weighing up how to use the package to benefit tribal members.

He says the South Waikato tribe has been made offers to invest in milk powder factories, which he says provide a good return and employment opportunities.

He says forestry, farming, and property are primary industries which the iwi knows well in its rohe (district).

Mr Mckenzie says if there is tribal agreement, the settlement could be signed in early November.