Tuhoe alienated in Urewera says Tribunal

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The Waitangi Tribunal has released the third part of its report on the Urewera district claim which Tuhoe will use to support their treaty settlement case with the Crown.


The report found Tuhoe people became marginalised in their homeland.

It said claimants were unable to come to grips with laws made in 1896 to create a reserve for Tuhoe.

The land was stripped from them 30 years later when the Crown took much of it through an aggressive buying programme.

Tuhoe were not opposed to the creation of Te Urewera National Park, but wanted to remain on the last lands in the heart of the park.

The park did not breach the Treaty of Waitangi, but the Tribunal found the alienation of 75 per cent of the Urewera Native Reserve - mainly through ruthless Crown purchasing - on top of extensive land loss in the rest of the park, was in breach of the Treaty.

In September, the Crown and Ngai Tuhoe negotiators announced an agreement on a comprehensive deed of settlement regarding Tuhoe's claims over Urewera.

Both parties agreed that no one will own the land in the park, which will exist as a new separate legal entity under a power-sharing deal.

Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson, has welcomed the third part of the Tribunal's report on Te Urewera, released yesterday.

"Clearly the Crown took some appalling actions in relation to Ngai Tuhoe and other iwi in the Urewera region, and we need to address those wrongs."

Mr Finlayson said giving the Ureweras their own legal identity and having joint management was better than what the Tribunal had come up with.

"Our model is a better one and it addressed the legitimate aspirations to Tuhoe, and we're working on getting that sorted out."


APNZ

- Hawkes Bay Today

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