11 Sep 2012

Tuhoe set to manage Te Urerewa National Park

7:13 pm on 11 September 2012

Te Urewera National Park will exist as a separate legal entity under the terms of a Treaty settlement agreed by Ngai Tuhoe and the Crown on Tuesday.

The iwi has accepted the Crown's offer to settle its historical claim in a deal worth $170 million.

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says huge areas of the iwi's land were wrongly confiscated or purchased unjustly.

Ngai Tuhoe will be recognised as tangata whenua of Te Urewera, but won't be given ownership of the national park.

Instead, it will share governance with the Crown and the Department of Conservation (DoC) will manage it.

DoC will work with Ngai Tuhoe to enhance Te Urewera as a place of outstanding natural, recreational and cultural value.

Mr Finlayson says the new structure will allow the connection between Ngai Tuhoe and Te Urewera to be fully recognised for the first time.

Ngai Tuhoe chief negotiator Tamati Kruger says the status of Te Urewera is unique and that the iwi and Crown have developed an innovative settlement proposal.