The three tribes of Uenuku, Tamahaki and Tamakana are another step closer to initialling a Deed of Settlement as they continue the long journey of finalising their Te Korowai o Wainuiārua (TKoW) Treaty of Waitangi claim.
Following a number of Covid enforced delays and the resolution of overlapping claims with others, the latest offer from the Crown has across the board increases in all areas of the proposed Settlement package.
A $2-million increase in cultural funds brings the total financial redress package of TKoW to $26.45-million while, an extra 28 vestings totalling over 350-hectares significantly boosts the total value of the Settlement to the iwi.
With over half their rohe confiscated and lying in conservation lands, environmental redress has also been increased to include a seat on the Tongariro Taupo Conservation Board along with a 50/50 a joint partnership agreement to provide strategic oversight and develop a Reserves Management Plan over 11,000ha of culturally significant land and provision for the placement of pouwhenua on public conservation sites.
These additions are on top of a number of initiatives now also included that directly support the iwi development of an ecosanctuary and tourism venture at Pōkākā near Erua including securing access.
Having started formal negotiations in 2014, TKoW chair Aiden Gilbert said the team are delighted to nearing closer to the Deed of Settlement milestone.
“Other than a few 12th hour negotiations with the Crown we have finally reached the position of being able sharing our final package with uri ahead of initialling a Deed of Settlement and then, launching into the Ratification process.
“Part of the package includes an increase in our quantum figure which is several million more than we shared at the last roadshow.
“There have been more properties included in our package however, we are still waiting on a couple of Ministerial decisions to be made on a couple of these.
“There are also a number of formal relationship agreements with Crown agencies and local Government.”
Mr Gilbert hopes to have the Ministerial decisions finalised ahead of their last information Roadshow in this phase of the Crown process.
“Ahead of the roadshows we have uploaded the offer to our website and I would encourage all uri to have a read.
“Over the last five years we have been using roadshow hui as an opportunity to update uri with where we are at with Settlement and are excited to be coming out one final time ahead of signing the Deed and entering the ratification process.”