Ruapehu iwi Ngāti Rangi and the Crown signed a deed of settlement worth $17 million at an emotional ceremony at Raketepauma Marae.

The signing on Saturday settled the iwi's historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little said.

Hon Andrew Little delivers the Crown apology to Ngāti Rangi.
Hon Andrew Little delivers the Crown apology to Ngāti Rangi.

"I would like to acknowledge the enormous amount of work that has been achieved by the Central North Island tangata whenua and the government to get us to this point," Mr Little said.

"Ngāti Rangi say that they have always been a friend of the Crown. Through this settlement the Crown aims to rebuild its relationship with Ngāti Rangi and reinforce that it is based on mutual respect and honour.

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"The Ngāti Rangi deed of settlement outlines a range of redress to be provided to the iwi, including a Crown acknowledgement and apology, cultural redress including a statutory recognition and governance arrangements for the Whangaehu River, and financial and commercial redress with a total value of $17 million.

"Ngāti Rangi is one of the iwi that will take part in the collective negotiations over Tongariro National Park, due to commence later this year."

Ngāti Rangi gifted the Crown a contemporary harakeke piece (at left) by Keita Tuhi and Kia Tomoana representing the vibrant colours of Ruapehu and the sky.
Ngāti Rangi gifted the Crown a contemporary harakeke piece (at left) by Keita Tuhi and Kia Tomoana representing the vibrant colours of Ruapehu and the sky.

Cultural redress includes special recognition of the connection between Ngāti Rangi, other local iwi, and Te Waiū o Te Ika (the Whangaehu River) and a new framework for governance over the river and its catchment.

Defence Force land at Waiouru will be vested in Ngāti Rangi who will then gift it back to the Crown for the people of New Zealand.

Legislation to enact the deed will be introduced to Parliament later this year.