History set to be made for trio of Taranaki iwi as treaty bills poised for final readings

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson has been at the forefront of all three settlement deals.
Robert Charles/Fairfax NZ

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson has been at the forefront of all three settlement deals.

Hundreds of people from Taranaki will be in Wellington to watch history being made on Wednesday.

The third and final reading of Treaty of Waitangi settlement bills for Taranaki, Te Atiawa and Ngaruahine iwi groups will take place in Parliament.

The historic day also marks the beginning of a new chapter for each iwi. After leaving behind the years of hurt and hard work to negotiate a settlement deal with the Crown, each group was moving towards a renewed sense of tino rangatiratanga or self determination.

Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa chairwoman Liana Poutu said Wednesday would be a "big occasion" for the  iwi.
Andy Jackson

Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa chairwoman Liana Poutu said Wednesday would be a "big occasion" for the iwi.

Taranaki Iwi Trust chairman Tokatumoana Walden said the final step in the legislative process, which will see the bill made law, completed decades of work many people had put into making the settlement a reality. 

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Taranaki treaty settlement bills back on track to pass into law
Taranaki Iwi Trust signs up for a prosperous future

While he acknowledged treaty settlements were "political deals" Walden said the interests of the iwi had always been paramount.

Taranaki Iwi Trust chairman Tokatumoana Walden said the treaty settlement had already opened doors.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Taranaki Iwi Trust chairman Tokatumoana Walden said the treaty settlement had already opened doors.

He said the commercial and cultural opportunities which have already presented themselves to the iwi had helped focus the group towards its future, rather than looking back on its past.

"It is about self determination," he said.

"We're starting to establish our footprint back on the Taranaki landscape."

Will Edwards, Pou Whakarae of Te Korowai o Ngaruahine Trust.
SIMON O'CONNOR/Fairfax NZ

Will Edwards, Pou Whakarae of Te Korowai o Ngaruahine Trust.

"That's part of the healing."

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