Rebuild can begin for Bay iwi

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Minister of Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo/file
Minister of Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo/file

Bay iwi Ngai Te Rangi and Nga Potiki have had the first reading of their claims settlement bill in Parliament today.

Minister of Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell said today the iwi who were virtually stripped of all their lands could now start to rebuild culturally, environmentally and economically.

Mr Flavell's comments also refer to the the second reading of the Ngati Hineuru Claims Settlement Bill today.

Mr Flavell said in both cases the Crown had committed serious and repeated failures to live up to its Treaty obligations; and Crown initiated conflict had virtually stripped the iwi of their lands, leaving only a tiny remnant of what they once held.

"Any resistance led to huge land confiscations and for Ngati Hineuru many of those who resisted the Crown's confiscations were banished or summarily executed.

"For Ngai Te Rangi and Nga Potiki, Crown purchases and the compulsory acquisition of 'uneconomic' interests, as well as public works takings had inflicted massive harm on the mana, identity, way of life, and economic and social wellbeing of the iwi."

Mr Flavell said both settlements recognised the mana of the iwi and reaffirmed their rights over their lands. The redress helped heal the pain of the past by setting the record straight regarding the iwi and their history with the Crown as well as the injustices suffered by their people.

"Through cultural redress the people of both iwi are reconnected with a number of their most culturally significant sites, whilst financial and commercial redress reasserts their role in their region and provides a strong economic base for them to grow."

"Today represents the beginning of a brighter future for Ngati Hineuru and Ngai Te Rangi and shaping the world they want their mokopuna to inherit. It is testament to the mana of the iwi in moving beyond grievance and into development and growth."

Ngati Hineuru, an iwi of the Te Haroto region on the Napier to Taupo Road, suffered a loss of land and mana after Crown attacks on the tribe at Omarunui and near Petane in 1866, during which its rangatira Te Rangihiroa was killed.

The historical claims of Ngai Te Rangi and Nga Potiki primarily relate to the Crown initiated military conflict in Tauranga in 1864 and the ensuing confiscation/raupatu as well as the imposition of the native land laws in Tauranga Moana, Crown purchasing methods in the Tauranga District in the 1880s and 1890s, the compulsory acquisition of land and major public works takings.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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