25 Mar 2013

Tuhoe leader praised for work on Treaty deal

11:45 am on 25 March 2013

Tuhoe chief negotiator Tamati Kruger is being praised for his tenacity in securing a Treaty agreement with the Crown.

Taken by Rosemary Rangitauira 22 March 2013 Wellington

Treaty settlement agreement between the Crown and Tuhoe. Photo: RNZ

Iwi descendants and Government officials came together on Friday to initial a deed of settlement at Parliament.

The settlement includes a Crown apology for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and redress under the term mana motuhake, which gives Tuhoe - to some extent - the ability to manage its own affairs with help from government services.

A Ruatoki kaumatua, Paki Nikora, says the initialling opens up the opportunity for a new future for Tuhoe and the Crown.

And he acknowledges negotiator Tamati Kruger, saying he did more than was expected of him.

Mr Nikora recalls negotiations hitting a roadblock in 2010 with the Crown over Te Urewera National Park.

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson.

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson. Photo: RNZ

He says that would have broken anybody, but after advice from the people Mr Kruger went back into negotiations and as a result the deed has been initialled.

Mr Kruger is now stepping down from his negotiator role.

He says getting to this stage is a great achievement and shows a commitments by both sides to resolve issues that will usher in change.

Tuhoe's chief negotiator Tamati Kruger.

Tuhoe's chief negotiator Tamati Kruger. Photo: RNZ