National | Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa sign an Agreement in Principle

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-ā-Rua have signed an Agreement in Principle to settle their treaty grievances with the Crown. The settlement package will see the return of almost 20,000 hectares of land to the iwi.

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui ā-Rua are now a step closer to settling their treaty grievances with the Crown.

PJ Devonshire, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui ā-Rua says, “So many people supported this journey. I want to acknowledge them. It has been a difficult task and one that has been long in the acheiving. Today is a good occasion.”

However, the iwi's treaty grievances are not so celebrated. More than 1,000,000ha, around three fifths of the Wairarapa and Tāmaki Nui ā-Rua region were sold to the Crown in the mid 19th century.

Chris Finlayson, Minister of Treaty Settlement, says “I would say Wairarapa Moana was a hugely significant issue, the Pouakani issue was one. The effect of the settlement of the Wairarapa and this region of Tāmaki Nui ā-Rua that left so many people essentially landless and promises that were made to them at the time there, representatives met with (Governor) George Grey, were not honoured.”

Yesterday, the tribe signed an Agreement in Principle; worth $93million dollars to rectify the Crown's past wrong doings.

Hayden Hape, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui ā-Rua says, "The settlement gives us the opportunity now to play a bigger role within our rohe. Invest to create opportunities for not just for Kahungunu, but for the wider community."

The settlement package includes a Crown apology, as well as redress that will vest 19 Crown-owned sites of cultural significance to iwi. Four other sites will also be shared with Rangitāne o Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Tāmaki Nui ā-Rua.

Devonshire says, “In regards to the return of some of our taonga, like the Wairarapa bed, is hugely significant. It will allow us to stand with dignity.”

The Signing of the Deed of Settlement is set to take place on sometime next year.