Te Arawa celebrates its Treaty of Waitangi lakes settlement at a special ceremony on the shores of Lake Rotorua today.
The tribe and the Government signed a Deed of Settlement in December 2004 over 13 of the Rotorua region's 14 lakes.
The settlement includes an apology from the Crown for past grievances, title to the 13 lake beds, fishing licences and financial redress of $10 million.
It does not include ownership of the water in the lakes or the air above them.
A bill enacting the settlement passed its second reading in Parliament in September.
Prime Minister Helen Clark was to deliver the Crown's apology to the tribe at a special ceremony held at Ohinemutu's Te Papaiouru Marae this morning.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust interim general manager Roku Mihinui said today's ceremonies offered a chance for the tribe to collectively acknowledge the historical settlement.
It will also give tribal members the opportunity to farewell the outgoing Te Arawa Maori Trust Board members - who negotiated the package - and welcome the new interim board.
"I believe this is a celebration for the whole of Te Arawa, Mr Mihinui said. "This is just the beginning of a lot of work for Te Arawa as we move forward for the benefit of all of Te Arawa."
Following the formal apology a plaque will be unveiled at the lakefront near QE Hospital where the Te Arawa waka is housed. Fourteen trees were to be planted there, representing the 14 hapu of the Central North Island tribe.
Meanwhile, iwi members will soon be voting on who they want to represent them on the Te Arawa Lakes Trust which will administer the settlement finances.
Mr Mihinui said the inaugural board members would be announced early next year.
Interim chairman of the board is Putu Mihaka, while former Te Arawa Maori Trust Board chairman Anaru Rangiheuea will be an interim board member.
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