A group representing three hapu north of Napier moves a step closer to finalising Treaty negotiations when it meets with the Government in Wellington this morning.
Maungaharuru-Tangitu Incorporation will meet with the Minister of Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson to initial a Deed of Settlement which outlines the $23 million settlement.
The incorporation will take the deed back to its hapu members who will vote whether to accept it or not. If the answer is yes, it then progresses to a signing and into draft legislation before Parliament.
Today's initialling was to be held yesterday but was delayed by one day because Mr Finlayson was in Rome attending the induction ceremony of Pope Francis.
Maungaharuru-Tangitu Incorporation represents families of Ngati Marangatuhetaua, Ngati Kurumokihi and Ngai Te Ruruku in an area from Waitaha river about 30km northeast of Napier, to the Te Waiohinganga river (Esk river) to the south.
The group's principal claim is around the raupatu, or confiscation, of about 110,000ha of land by the Crown in the 1860s and the loss of life associated with the confiscation.
In September 2011, the incorporation signed a settlement of agreement in principle with the Government which vested part of the bed of Lake Tutira into ownership of Maungaharuru-Tangitu, as well as 250ha of state-owned Opouahi Station near Tutira, which had been made available for settlements.
The agreement contains the option to buy part of the Crown-owned Esk Forest, on the eastern side of the Maungaharuru range, west of Napier.