National | Andrew Little

Ngāti Maru rangatahi receive framed copies of land titles at Crown apology in Taranaki

Credit / Te Korimako o Taranaki

Ngāti Maru rangatahi were handed framed copies of land titles returned through the iwi's Treaty of Waitangi settlement as a Crown apology was delivered at Te Upoko o te Whenua Marae in Taranaki today.

Treaty Minister Andrew Little's handing of the title copies to rangatahi was to symbolise the return of land to Ngāti Maru as the original owners and kaitiaki of their whenua, a statement said.

Credit / Te Korimako o Taranaki

Ngāti Maru signed a $30 million settlement with the Crown in February last year but many iwi members were unable to be there in person.

“The Crown Apology is usually delivered at the Deed of Settlement signing, but the pandemic restrictions at that time meant many Ngāti Maru were not able to attend.

"I made a commitment to Ngāti Maru that we would have a separate event in their rohe so as many Ngāti Maru as possible could witness this significant moment in our history,” Little said.

The Treaty Minister said it was a "privilege" to deliver the apology to Ngāti Maru "kanohi ki te kanohi" at the marae in Tarata.

In recognition of the day's events, Ngāti Maru has named the day ‘Te Pūaotanga mai o Maru i te Atatū – the reawakening and re-emergence of Ngāti Maru’.

Ngāti Maru's rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its tributaries, and west to Mount Taranaki. The iwi has approximately 2,800 registered members.