3 Nov 2011

Far North iwi edges towards settlement

7:35 pm on 3 November 2011

One of five of the northern most tribes is close to resolving its Treaty claim, after initialling a deed of settlement at Parliament on Thursday.

It's taken Te Rarawa, nearly a quarter of a century to reach this stage, after first lodging a claim in 1987.

Four other iwi, Ngai Takoto, Te Aupouri, Ngati Kuri and Ngati Kahu, are still working through their claims.

Te Aupouri says it's finalised a proposed package with the Crown and will now seek agreement from its people to ratify it.

Under the agreement the Government acknowledges the tribes role as kaitiaki, or guardians, of Te Oneroa-a-Tohe - or Ninety Mile Beach.

It means the iwi and the Crown will co-manage the stretch of coast, while guaranteeing to keep public access.

Revenue which the Crown currently collects from tourist buses which use the land, will go to a joint Crown tribal body, which will spend the money on projects to regenerate flora and fauna.

The deal will also include an apology and the return of seven farms and a forestry block.