Headline: Agreement in principle signed with Ngāti Tūwharetoa
The Crown has signed an agreement in principle with Ngāti Tūwharetoa towards settling their historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Ngāti Tūwharetoa is a large iwi of around 35,000 people with an area of interest centred around Lake Taupo and the central plateau.
“The agreement in principle marks the start of the next phase of negotiations with Ngāti Tūwharetoa and represents an important milestone. This agreement provides both the Crown and Ngāti Tūwharetoa with a basis from which to develop a detailed deed of settlement,” Mr Finlayson said.
The agreement in principle outlines a broad settlement package which includes provisional Crown acknowledgements of Treaty of Waitangi breaches and cultural, financial and commercial redress.
The settlement includes the transfer to Ngāti Tūwharetoa of several high-profile sites in the Central North Island region, with the continuance of free and full public access guaranteed to all but part of one site, and existing third party interests maintained.
“These sites are all of immense cultural and historical value to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and high recreational and community value to the Taupo region and New Zealand as a whole,” Mr Finlayson said. “This AIP balances the interests of the public, the Crown and Ngāti Tūwharetoa.”
“The Crown is committed to resolving all historical Treaty grievances, and an agreement in principle is a significant step,” Mr Finlayson said.
Claims relating to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Tongariro National Park are yet to be resolved and will be dealt with in a separate collective negotiation with other iwi and hapū over Tongariro National Park.
A copy of the agreement in principle will be available on the Office of Treaty Settlements’ website, www.ots.govt.nz.