Ureweras go to Ngai Tuhoe. Great.

From Scoop:

Crown Offer Accepted by Ngai Tuhoe Settlement Negotiators
“After consultation with iwi members, Te Kotahi a Tuhoe have accepted the Crown’s offer to settle the historical claims of Ngai Tuhoe, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson and Ngāi Tuhoe Chief negotiator Tamati Kruger announced today.”

With the passing of this legislation, Te Urewera will be removed from Crown Ownership and be governed by a separate legal entity comprised of Crown and Ngai Tuhoe nominees:

“Te Urewera will have its own legislation and exist as a separate legal identity. It will be governed by Crown and Ngai Tuhoe nominees acting on its behalf. Ngāi Tuhoe will have an increasing role in management over time, with the Department of Conservation also retaining its role. The Department of Conservation will work with Ngai Tuhoe to enhance Te Urewera as a place of outstanding natural, recreational and cultural value.”

“The offer includes redress valued at approximately $170 million, inclusive of Tuhoe’s share in the Central North Island forestry on-account settlement in 2008.The offer also includes the implementation of the social Services Management Plan announced last month, under which government agencies will work with Tuhoe to ensure better delivery of social services such as housing, education and health to its communities”.

My commentary.
  Fantastic. This is a real step forward for New Zealand and will nullify the voices of the silly bastards like Winston Peters.
That we still pay credence to Peters is extraordinary. He doesn’t even have a proper Maori name.  Sure he looks the part but everyone gets a little brown when they get older so if you squinted, you might well think he was a tipsy english rest-home escapee.
And Hone “house nigga” Harawira should not be able to make any political mileage from this announcement. (Hone just recently called Maori MP’s “house niggers”, for being stopped by the PM from attending Hone’s latest Dissent Hui.) Sorry, I mean the water, fire and air hui.
Ownership is the key element in many of the “Treaty grievances” that the Waitangi Tribunal seeks to redress. This is why Turia walked fom Labour in 2004.
The writing was on the wall when Clark legislated for Crown ownership of the Seabed and Foreshore in 2003.
In retrospect it is amazing how Clark was lauded for her foreign affairs prowess (or sucking up to other nation’s socialist political parties), but how hobbled she was in NZ’s domestic affairs.
Again that goes back to Peters. Clark and Cullen had seen the Seabed and Foreshore debate looming and were investigating the public domain concept that Peter Dunne had put forward. Winston got wind and threatened to walk.
In order to settle the matter of the “customary title” that Maori were seeking, ownership of the Seabed and Foreshore was then divested in the Crown. As I understand it, this was like saying to Maori – “ha ha, you can’t have it:
1. “You can’t have it in name”. Even though it is clear in the Treaty of Waitangi that Maori was intended to retain ownership of their traditional grounds. Not the whole of NZ by any means but specific tracts of land that were clearly identifiable with tradition and culture passed down through the generations.
2. “You can’t have the foreshore and seabed, culturally or  spiritually”. The spiritual attachment to the land will be broken by linking it to British sovereignty.
So Turia walked from Labour to form the Maori party with Sharples. The rest is now history.
Divesting Te Urewera in a vehicle giving joint ownership to Maori is good for New Zealand because:
1. Ownership is key to Maori; the Treaty pipeline was always going to be blocked until the major questions of ownership were settled. Don’t forget: management and access remains unchanged; the ownership is almost intangible in this regard but very important for the reasons outlined above.
2. Ownership gives an incentive for branding and adding value. Te Urewera has the potential to be a cultural and tourism draw card. This may have a very positive effect on the local economy.
 1. I doubt that Ngai tuhoe and the Department of Conservation who will have significant input, will have an easy marriage. The philosophical differences are vast.
2. Local iwi have been remarkably unsuccessful in kicking out the gangs in other areas where ownership has been divested in Maori. This will have to be addressed. 

Te Urewera.

The total cost of the settlement is $170 million. Interestingly the government has also announced the signing of the contract for the new PPP (public private partnership) prison at Wiri.
“Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says the PPP structure of the prison deal meant a saving of $170 million for the government.”
 What a coincidence.

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