Ngāti Rangi descendants have given an overwhelming endorsement of the Crown's offer to settle the Ruapehu iwi's historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.
The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Minister of Māori Development have considered the results and agreed there is sufficient support from Ngāti Rangi uri (descendants) to proceed to signing the Ngāti Rangi Deed of Settlement, Rukutia Te Mana.
It includes the Crown's acknowledgement of numerous breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, an agreed historical account and an apology from the Crown for those breaches. It also includes cultural redress covering lands significant to Ngāti Rangi, including the return of the lakes at Rotokura.
Iwi members were asked to cast two votes through the independent returning officer at electionz.com. The first, whether or not to accept the Crown's settlement offer, and the second, whether or not to accept the proposed post-settlement governance entity, called Te Tōtarahoe o Paerangi, to manage the settlement and iwi affairs.
Voter turnout was just under 42 per cent, which is relatively high for Treaty settlement ratification voting. The result was 99 per cent of uri voting in favour of the settlement and 97 per cent for the proposed new governance entity.
Ngāti Rangi Iwi Trust chairman Shar Amner was delighted with the result.
"A huge amount of work has gone into the negotiations and it's humbling and very satisfying to have our people support this mahi so strongly.
"For now, we will take a moment to celebrate the result, enjoy the Christmas break with whānau and recharge the batteries as 2018 is going to be an exciting year for Ngāti Rangi and our community," he said.
The Deed of Settlement will be signed in a formal ceremony early in 2018. Uri will be told as soon as it is confirmed.