National | Haami Te Whaiti

$115 million Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa settlement signed

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua has signed a $115 million settlement with the Crown in a small ceremony at Te Papa.

The deed of settlement includes a crown apology, cultural redress and an agreed account of the rohe’s history.

Newly elected Settlement Trust chairperson Haami Te Whaiti says the signing is the beginning of a healing process of the mamae of the past.

"It will never undo all the hurt, but it's a step in the right direction," he said.

The journey to Deed of Settlement has been long and winding for Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua. In 2018, those who whakapapa to the iwi voted in favour of an initial deal but resumption applications delayed its progress.

The package was re-negotiated outside of court earlier this year with 68.02 percent of members voting on the enhanced deal in July and August.

The new deal includes $27 million more redress above the 2018 deal including $5 million for the Wairarapa Moana.

The reformed settlement includes 33 cultural redress properties.

Wetlands and conservation whenua and the bed of Lake Wairarapa and two sites of cultural significance will be vested collectively for Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua and Rangitāne o Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua.

Clarifications to the historical account mean the Crown acknowledges and apologises for the circumstances of the provision and loss of lands at Pouākani and ongoing struggles with landlocked whenua.

There is specific mention of whānau in Mangakino in He Kawenata Hōu, the social and economic revitalisation strategic partnership with the Crown.

"This settlement is a very comprehensive settlement – and will allow our people to reap social and economic benefits - from now into the future," said Te Whaiti.

The settlement is now on the legislative agenda, its signing into law marks "the end of this particular stage in the journey."

"A brighter future for all who whakapapa to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua is within our reach," Te Whaiti added.

The Iwi says it is planning a celebration with whānau, hapū and iwi when Covid-19 restrictions lift.

"While we’re excited to get one hand on that future in Wellington… with Minister Little, we’re most looking forward to celebrating with our whānau, hapū, and iwi."