Central North Island iwi Ngāti Rangi's settlement bill has passed its first reading, as attention turns to the unresolved Ruapehu and Tongariro claims.
A contingent of Ngāti Rangi iwi descended on parliament on Thursday to witness the first reading of their settlement bill, Rukutia Te Mana.
Trust chairman Shar Amner said the bill recognised the deep cultural and spiritual connection between Ngāti Rangi and their natural environment.
"We have suffered greatly because of the Crown's failure to uphold its Treaty obligations, but we acknowledge this is another step toward healing the mamae [hurt] between Ngāti Rangi and the Crown."
Rukutia Te Mana included an acknowledgement from the Crown of its breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, an agreed historical account and an apology for those breaches.
Commercial redress included about $17 million made up of cash, properties and a range of rights of first refusal and deferred selection over specified Crown property.
The settlement also included a framework for the co-governance of the Whangaehu River catchment Te Waiū-o-Te-Ika, recognising the intrinsic connection between Whangaehu iwi and hapū and the awa.
Lake beds at Rotokura would be returned to the iwi, and a Conservation Partnership Framework and special arrangements in relation to pākohe, pākere, onewa and matā established.
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little said while no settlement could ever compensate Ngāti Rangi for the prejudice they suffered by the Crown's acts and omissions, the bill was the beginning of a renewed relationship.
The Bill did not address the iwi's claims within Tongariro National Park.
The Crown has committed to collective negotiations with all iwi and hapū with interests in the area of the national park, but a date has not been set.
Ngāti Rangi's grievances there include the Crown's establishment of the national park without consulting Ngāti Rangi, land acquisitions and the effects of commercial development on Ruapehu.
Ngāti Rangi origins and world view are linked to Matua te Mana (Ruapehu) and Te Kahui Maunga (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu and Pihanga), the mountain clan of the central plateau.
Ngāti Rangi's most sacred site, Te Wai a-moe (the crater lake) is located on Ruapehu.
When the ski fields were established on Ruapehu in the mid-1950s, there was no
consultation with Ngāti Rangi.
Ngāti Rangi considered the construction and operation of ski fields on Matua te Mana to be a transgression of the tapu of Ruapehu.
The iwi was never included in Tongariro National Park administration, subsequently preventing it carrying out traditional practices.
The National Parks Act in 1952 made the collection of indigenous flora and fauna from the Park an offence, stopping Ngāti Rangi gathering traditional cultural resources such as rongoa (medical plants).
Sites of significance to Ngāti Rangi on Ruapehu have also been renamed to commemorate prominent non-Ngāti Rangi individuals with an association to the region.
These "non-Ngāti Rangi identities" were seen to be "usurping their mana" over these wahi tapu (sacred sites), and entrenching the feeling that their "tupuna maunga is for Pākeha control and enjoyment".
Negotiations between the Crown and affected iwi and hapū over grievances within Tongariro National Park were expected to begin later this year.