South Taranki iwi receives Crown apology

Ngaruahine's lead negotiator Daisy Noble at last August"s treaty settlement signing in South Taranaki.
Andy Jackson

Ngaruahine's lead negotiator Daisy Noble at last August"s treaty settlement signing in South Taranaki.

The Crown has formally apologised to the people of Ngaruahine for the the loss and harm the iwi experienced during the land confiscations.

ln what is believed to be a first for the government, the apology, delivered by Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson, was given to an iwi outside of its traditional rohe or area.

Friday's ceremony was held at Arahura Marae in the Hokitika and capped off what had been a week-long hikoi for more than 150 members of Ngaruahine, many of whom travelled from South Taranaki to attend.

READ MORE: Ngaruahine $67.5 Treaty settlement signed

In the week prior, the group visited several historically important sites in the South Island, including  Dunedin's Northern Cemetery, where 21 prisoners were buried in unmarked graves.

"When the treaty claim process began our old people were clear the apology for the muru raupatu (wars and land confiscation) of the late 1800s had to be delivered to the tupuna (ancestors) who never came home," Ngaruahine lead negotiator Daisy Noble said.

Ngaruahine was hosted by  Ngati Waewae during their stay in Hokitika.  Ngati Waewae chair Francois Tumahai said they were pleased to have been able to help the South Taranaki iwi.

"Our tupuna supported Taranaki prisoners and supported efforts to appeal for their release.  Like other parts of our history it needs to continue to be recognised," he said.

The Crown is expected to introduce legislation regarding Ngaruahine's $67.5 million settlement mid-year.

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