Twenty-six years after a Porirua-based iwi lodged a Treaty of Waitangi settlement claim, the deal has been signed.
And fittingly, the signing of the deed of settlement at the Beehive was book-ended by emotionally-charged haka - the world-famous Ka Mate, composed by Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha and now recognised as such.
As part of the $75 million settlement, Ka Mate will be recognised as an integral part of Ngati Toa's culture and identity, meaning Te Rauparaha will have to be acknowledged as its composer.
Groups such as schools, sports teams, and kapa haka performers will not have to acknowledge Te Rauparaha. This includes the All Blacks, who first performed a version of it in 1905.
But if images of them doing the haka are used for commercial gain - such as in sponsors' advertisements - attribution will be needed if it is clearly the Ka Mate haka.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson told the packed Beehive banquet hall the deal had been 26 years since Ngati Toa representatives first lodged a claim.
''It's a long time coming for the crown, a longer time coming, I'm sure, for Ngati Toa.''
Tiratu Williams, the only surviving claimant of the 14 who started Ngati Toa negotiations, led the massive procession into the banquet hall for the ceremony and was among the first to sign on behalf of the iwi.
The settlement also involves the Police College and police stations around Wellington.
It is to compensate for the treatment of Te Rauparaha and his nephew Te Rangihaeata in the 19th century, extensive land seizures, and for the iwi's exclusion from earlier land deals with the Crown.
In August, at the "initialling" of the deal, Mr Finlayson said it had been one of the most litigious Treaty settlements so far.
The $75.2m settlement includes financial and commercial redress of $40m - $10m to recognise Ngati Toa's maritime domain over Cook Strait, $11.5m to buy numerous Crown properties, $6.6m for iwi development, and other smaller amounts. A sum of $2m, paid to the iwi in 2009, will be subtracted.
Ngati Toa will be offered the chance to buy several properties, many of which come with the proviso they are leased back to the Crown organisations using them.
They include 67 schools, Arohata and Rimutaka prisons, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt district courts, Wellington Central police station, the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua, police stations in Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt and Porirua, and the Johnsonville policing centre.
Ngati Toa can also buy parcels of land, including the former Kenepuru Hospital site, which it does not have to lease back.
Other parts of the settlement include rights to Kapiti Island and Taputeranga Island and statutory acknowledgments over Cook Strait, Wellington Harbour and other areas around Wellington. Porirua Harbour will be renamed Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour.
- The Dominion Post
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