7 Oct 2011

Iwi takes back farm in Crown settlement

6:02 am on 7 October 2011

A 118-hectare farm is being officially returned to a Gisborne iwi on Friday as part of its settlement with the Crown.

Rongowhakaata resolved its Treaty claims during a signing with the Government last week.

The land, formerly part of Opou Station near Manutuke, will be handed over to the tribe along with a $3 million advance on its total financial redress of $22 million.

The farm been used for cropping and will be leased in the short term.

Rongowhakaata's lead negotiator Willie Te Aho says the settlement won't be fully completed until a confiscated carved meeting house is returned.

He says Te Hau ki Turanga, which was taken in 1867, is currently held at the national museum Te Papa, with the iwi's blessing.

Under the terms of the Deed of Settlement, the whare will be returned in 2017 or another date both parties agree on.