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Agreement Reached On Central North Island Claims

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

30 April 2008 - The Crown and Central North Island iwi have reached agreement on an iwi developed proposal to settle historic Treaty of Waitangi claims in the region, Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

The proposal was presented to Dr Cullen earlier this month and today's agreement means the next steps towards a final Deed of Agreement can now get underway.

"The proposal put forward by Central North Island iwi regarding the use of Crown forest land in their region, for historical Treaty settlements, is fair to iwi, the public and the Crown," Dr Cullen said.

"The Crown has considered the proposal and has found it to be a fair and effective way of using the forest lands to provide the key commercial redress for historical settlements for each iwi within the Collective. This is an important milestone in the completion of the largest single treaty settlement package to be developed to date. "The Collective has worked very hard to develop an allocation of the commercial settlement assets, and I look forward to working with them over the coming weeks on the fine details of the proposal and its implementation. The proposal provides for the Crown to retain a share of the forest for settling claims of any iwi that have direct interests in the forests but are not members of the Collective. The Crown will continue to discuss the protection and resolution of those iwi's interests with them at the same time as the wider consultation on the proposal.

"The agreement also recognises the significant connection all New Zealanders have to the forest by protecting and enhancing public access to the forest lands. The rights of the Crown forest licensees who own the trees will not be disturbed. The Collective and the Crown will now conduct a number of information and consultation hui with members and iwi representatives. "We are committed to ensuring that iwi outside the Collective will not be disadvantaged and will assess very carefully the breadth of support for the settlement before addressing to a final deed. This settlement will transfer a significant commercial asset that will deliver positive economic benefits to Central North Island iwi. That we have progressed this far in such a short time is testimony to the spirit of unity and co-operation that the Collective members have brought to this process."

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