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Crown apologises for leaving Rangitāne o Manawatū "virtually landless"

Published: 10:54AM Monday November 16, 2015

  •  (Source: Te Karere)
    Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson delivers a formal apology to Rangitane for the Crown's historical breaches of the Treaty. - Source: Te Karere

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson was welcomed onto Tānenuiarangi Marae in Palmerston North over the weekend to deliver a formal apology to the iwi for the Crown's historical breaches of the Treaty.

By 1866 Rangitāne o Manawatū had been alienated from many of their traditional kāinga, taonga and wāhi tapu and were left with insufficient reserves.

"The Crown greatly regrets that on a number of occassions it failed to protect Rangitāne o Manawatū interests when purchasing land in their rohe," said Minister Finlayson.

"The Crown sincerely apologises for the cumulative effect of its acts and ommissions which left Rangitāne o Manawatū virtually landless," he said.

In redress the Crown will transfer $13.5 million to the iwi, along with numerous properties including Crown properties with a first rights of first refusal.

"It's both a bittersweet day for me personally as my mum began the process and isn't here today with a number of other Rangitāne kaumātua who worked tirelessly to bring today about," says Rangitāne o Manawatū principal negotiator Danielle Harris.

"Of course we wanted more but at the end of the day we are happy with the number of sites that will be returned to us and also with the number of Crown properties we will have first rights of refusal over," she said.

Both the iwi and the Minister hope to enact the Rangitāne o Manawatū settlement into legislation early next year at the latest.