14 Nov 2011

South Waikato iwi approves iwi settlement deal

6:33 am on 14 November 2011

The people of the South Waikato tribe, Ngati Raukawa, have ratified their Treaty settlement package.

The iwi, which is north of Taupo and south of Cambridge, says it's now up to the Crown to make the next move.

Lead negotiator Chris McKenzie says 95% of votes returned were in favour of signing a Deed of Settlement.

He says it's important to iwi to acknowledge and look after its sites of historical and cultural significance - many of which sit on private land and can't be returned under the deal.

Mr McKenzie says it is equally important to secure a good commercial element in the package so the tribe can negotiate with private landowners to buy back culturally significant whenua.