The Police College, a former hospital and police stations around Wellington are part of a hard-fought $75 million Treaty settlement secured by Ngati Toa.
The settlement is to compensate for the treatment of Te Rauparaha and his nephew in the 19th century, extensive land seizures, and being left out of earlier land deals with the Crown.
Yesterday's "initialling" of the settlement marked the beginning of the end of one of the most litigious settlements so far, Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said after the ceremony.
As recently as Wednesday, rival iwi in the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust tried at the High Court to stop yesterday's ceremony, saying Crown negotiators had misled the trust and deceived it during its own negotiations. The bid was refused.
Mr Finlayson said it was hoped the settlement would now be ratified and a deed of settlement could be signed in October or November.
"There's a real need for the end of litigation," he said.
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.
Chief negotiator Matiu Rei said Ngati Toa's claims went back to Te Rauparaha being held by the Crown for 18 months without trial and without being charged, and his nephew Te Rangihaeata being driven out of the Hutt Valley by the Crown to live in exile in Horowhenua. It also related to land seizures since the Treaty of Waitangi, and the iwi's exclusion from the Nelson and Wellington tenths reserves.
He said no decisions had yet been made about what to do about the $50m in cash payments.
Under the settlement, Ngati Toa will be offered the chance to buy several properties, many of which come with the proviso that they are leased back to the Crown organisations using them.
This includes 67 schools, Arohata and Rimutaka prisons, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt district courts, the 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. It 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, Taputeranga Island in Island Bay, and statutory acknowledgments over Cook Strait, Wellington Harbour, and other areas around Wellington. Porirua Harbour will be renamed Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour.
NGATI TOA WILL GET
The right to buy large amounts of Crown property, including Wellington central police station. Most of these, including many schools, must be leased back to the Crown.
Rights to Taputeranga Island in Island Bay, of which Wellington City Council will retain management, and the Akatarawa Rd conservation area.
Rights to Kapiti Island - but this will mostly be given back to the Crown. A small area at the north of the island will remain vested to Ngati Toa, but under the management of the Conservation Department. A 1-hectare block will remain under Ngati Toa ownership.
Rights to Taupo Urupa in Plimmerton. Public access will not be affected.
Coastal statutory acknowledgments over Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour.
Statutory acknowledgement over the Hutt River catchment, Red Rocks Scientific Reserve on Wellington's south coast, and Oteranga Bay in Makara.
Special legislation recognising Te Rauparaha as the composer of the Ka Mate haka.
Several place names will be changed, including Porirua Harbour, which will become Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour.
Statutory acknowledgement and deeds of recognition over lakes Rotoroa and Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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