Treelord deal takes a step closer
Another step in settling the Treaty of Waitangi related to the central North Island forests has been taken today.
Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu signed a revised deed of settlement with Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen on Te Pakira Marae in Rotorua today.
The deed separates out Te Arawa's other settlement agreements from the major forestry claim to allow this wider claim to be settled jointly with other iwi.
The original settlement deed had included the forestry assets, but following complaints from other iwi and a Waitangi Tribunal hearing it was decided to take a collective approach to the forests.
The Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu have a membership of about 24,000 and assert interests in an area of over 500,000 hectares.
A large portion of this area is licensed crown forest land.
The Government is working towards the wider forestry deal dubbed by some as "Treelord" and the partial settlement with Te Arawa allows the process to continue.
The deed of settlement includes:
* A formal apology from the Crown to the affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi;
* An amended financial redress package to reflect Te Arawa's participation in the Central North Island collective settlement;
* The transfer of 19 areas of crown-owned land of special significance to the affiliate Te Arawa Iwi/Hapu; and
* Redress that will enable increased input into management over crown-owned land, and protocols with certain government agencies.
Dr Cullen said the deed was now conditional only on the passage of settlement legislation.
Legislation had been prepared for introduction into Parliament within the next fortnight.
Further progress in the central North Island and other regions is likely to be announced in the coming weeks, he said.