August 26, 2008

Port Nicholson Settlement - A Major Contribution to Justice

The Port Nicholson Block Claims Team have signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown settling all the historical Treaty claims of Taranaki Whānui at a ceremony at Wellington’s Pipitea Marae.

Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika is a collective that comprises people from a number of Taranaki iwi whose ancestors migrated to Wellington in the 1820s and 30s and signed the Port Nicholson Block Deed of Purchase in 1839.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen said the signing was an important milestone in the relationship between the Crown and iwi in New Zealand’s capital city.

The settlement package includes:

· an historical account, Crown acknowledgements of historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, a Crown apology, and the innovation of a Statement of forgiveness from Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika to the Crown;

· a cultural redress package featuring the transfer of a number of sites of cultural significance to Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, including the three islands in Wellington Harbour, with public access rights preserved; and

· a quantum of $25.025 million, as well as the opportunity to purchase a number of Crown properties in Wellington city and the surrounding region.

Dr Cullen deserves full credit for settling this claim and for leading the way in beginning a healing process to enable iwi to move forward.

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