Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Bay iwi pleased at $38m treaty plan

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Ngati Ranginui elder Colin Bidois of Pyes Pa urges sensible solutions to how the tribes's hapu deal with a big influx of wealth. Photo/Ruth Keber
Ngati Ranginui elder Colin Bidois of Pyes Pa urges sensible solutions to how the tribes's hapu deal with a big influx of wealth. Photo/Ruth Keber

A Bay iwi could be given more than $38 million as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement bill which passed its first reading in Parliament.

Iwi leaders said the bill was a step in the right direction for addressing the misery and injustice inflicted upon Tauranga iwi Ngati Ranginui and its hapu by the Crown.

As part of the settlement bill, Nga Hapu o Ngati Ranginui would receive just over $38 million, a Crown acknowledgement and an apology.

Nga Hapu o Ngati Ranginui Settlement Trust chairperson Te Pio Kawe said the 35 people from Ngati Ranginui who travelled to Wellington for the reading yesterday morning were "very happy and elated".

"It has been a long time to get us to this point," he said. The deed of settlement was signed between iwi and the Crown in 2012.

He said it addressed the breaches the Crown took against Ngati Ranginui during and after the Battles of Gate Pa and at Te Ranga. Following the bloody battles there were huge land confiscations, poverty and marginalisation of hapu on their own land.

Mr Kawe said the settlement package in itself did not return what was lost.

"But, what it is, is recognition for those past breaches and an opportunity to reestablish the cultural identity of Ngati Ranginui.

"We are looking to move forward ... to economic growth and development as an iwi and for our hapu and the opportunity to contribute to the economic growth and development of Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty."

The $38 million settlement includes 21 early release landbank properties, 30 commercial redress properties, the vesting of 13 properties of cultural significance and the co-management of the Margaret Jackson Wildlife Management Reserve.

At the same time, the Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective Redress passed its first reading. It is a bill that would give effect to the collective redress of three iwi centred around the Tauranga Harbour - Ngai Te Rangi, Nga Hapu o Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga.

It included a relationship agreement with the Department of Conservation to enhance conservation lands in Te Kupenga and provisions for collective management of Mauao with Tauranga City Council.

Charlie Tawhiao, chairman of Tauranga Moana Collective, said it was not a cause for celebration but a time to sit and reflect on the history that was being marked with the settlements.

"We don't think it will ever end. It's a conversation that has been started and will continue, it's about how we coexist in the post-settlement environment," Mr Tawhiao said.

The Ngati Pukenga Claims Settlement Bill was also passed, which included a commercial and financial redress of $7 million.

The bills go to the Maori Affairs Committee and, after a submission process, would be read twice more in Parliament before becoming legislation.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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