19 Apr 2013

Treaty signing completes South Island settlements

6:34 pm on 19 April 2013

The last South Island tribe to conclude its Treaty settlement will sign off a deal with the Crown at the weekend.

Nelson tribe Ngati Tama ki te Tau Ihu will seal their Crown deal which includes cultural and financial redress of $12 million.

Ngati Tama chairman and chief negotiator Fred Te Miha praised Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson, saying he has been a pleasure to deal with.

Mr Te Miha acknowledges that the Government only has a limited amount of money to compensate the iwi for the Crown's Treaty breaches, and said he is happy with the deal.

He says at least his tribe will have a good foundation to rebuild itself.

The signing ceremony at Onetahua Marae near Takaka in Golden Bay on Saturday morning will mean all treaty grievances will have been settled for Te Wai Pounamu and Rakiura (South Island and Stewart Island).

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said it is an exciting new era for southern Maori who want to work together to boost the South Island's economy.

He said Ngai Tahu has indicated it is keen to work with iwi in the top of the South Island, especially with future commercial ventures.

The Ngati Tama settlement follows on from their Marlborough neighbours Ngati Rarua, who signed off with the Crown near Blenheim last weekend.

Both settlements are expected to be passed into legislation by the end of this year.