Te Atiawa settlement to be finalised

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 07/08/2014

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Te Atiawa's controversial settlement is set to be signed off, despite continuing concerns about the deal by three hapu.

Late yesterday afternoon, Te Atiawa Iwi Authority's (TAIA) negotiator Peter Moeahu told the Taranaki Daily News that he had been advised the $87 million dollar settlement deal had been approved by the Crown and will be formally signed off at a ceremony this Saturday at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Rangiatea campus in New Plymouth.

However, Otaraua chairman Rawiri Doorbar said the well-documented concerns his group, as well as members of Manukorihi and Ngati Tawhirikura hapu, had about the deal had been ignored by both TAIA and the Crown.

These issues include the lack of provision in the deal for the return of the Waitara endowment lands to iwi, potential conflicts of interests within TAIA and concerns regarding how the post settlement governance entity, Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust, was formed.

Doorbar said although he considered that a Government re-think on the settlement would have been unlikely, the negotiation process and the resulting deal were still inadequate in his view.

"It certainly points to a incomplete settlement process and one that is not full and final," he said.

Negotiations for Te Atiawa's settlement began in 2012.

Following a number of hui across the country, the package was voted on by registered iwi members in July.

Last night, TAIA posted on its Facebook page that of the 40.2 per cent of registered members who voted, 77 per cent were in favour of the settlement.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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