Treaty settlement for Te Atiawa set at $11.7m

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 11:30 19/12/2012

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Picton-based iwi Te Ātiawa Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu has approved its $11.7 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement, and an agreement will be signed with the Crown on Friday.

Te Atiawa chairwoman Glenice Paine said the iwi had ratified the settlement in a "fantastic" result that saw 94 per cent of votes cast in favour.

Two other resolutions approved a post-settlement entity to handle the iwi's affairs and for the trustees of that entity to sign the deal, she said.

Just over 28 per cent of eligible voters took part in the ratification.

Mrs Paine said the trustees of the post-settlement entity would be the current iwi trustees for a transitional period of about 12 months, after which elections would be held. It had been about two decades of work, "long and hard", to get to this point.

Movement on top of the south iwi Treaty of Waitangi claims means that Attorney-General and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson will sign a deal with Ngati Koata in Nelson on Friday morning, and with Te Atiawa on Friday afternoon.

The Crown proposed a deed of settlement over the iwi's Wai 607 claim to the Waitangi Tribunal for loss of land and resources because of unfair treatment by the New Zealand Company and the Crown following the signing of the Treaty in 1840.

The settlement covers all the iwi's historical claims and includes $11.76m from which the iwi will buy Crown forest land and other Crown-owned properties. It is unclear when the iwi will receive the compensation.

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- The Marlborough Express

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