A formal apology has been given to Tuhoe for Treaty Of Waitangi breaches.
More than 3000 people are at the iwi headquarters Te Uru Taumatua today in Taneatua for a settlement day ceremony to mark Tuhoe treaty settlement legislation which was passed in Parliament last month.
Click image for more pictures
At the ceremony Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson delivered the Crown's formal apology for breaches of the Crown's obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.
Mr Finlayson said it was an important part of the settlement process for the Crown to acknowledge and apologise for historic treaty breaches.
"These historical breaches included indiscrimate raupatu or land confiscation, wrongful killings including executions, years of scorched earth warfare, the failure to implement the Urewera District Native Reserve Act 1896 and the exclusion of Tuhoe from the establishment of Te Urewera National Park" he said.
Tuhoe chief negotiator for the settlement, Tamati Kruger said it was a historic day for them.
"Today, was a day to be remembered - a day to celebrate peace and a forward looking future," he said.
The ceremony was attended by descendants of Premier Richard Seddon. Great grandson, Mr Tim Jerram of Auckland, presented Tuhoe with a taiaha gifted to Mr Seddon by the Tuhoe rangatira Kereru when the premier visited Te Urewera in 1894.
An historic flag that flew at the Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana's Maungapohatu community was returned by the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The flag was confiscated by Crown forces when they arrested Rua in 1916.
"The ceremony marks a turning point in the Crown - Tuhoe relationship. The focus has shifted from the settlement of historic Treaty grievances to co-operation between the Crown and Tuhoe on areas of mutual interest, exemplified by the new arrangements for the governance and management of Te Urewera," Mr Finlayson said.