Three former Crown Forestry Blocks - Castlehill, Tinui and the Waihora portion of Whareama have returned to Rangitāne Tū Mai Rā Trust - the Post Settlement Governance entity for the Rangitāne Treaty Claims.
The return of the Ngaumu forests represents the most significant property transaction in the Tū Mai Rā settlement at nearly 6,000 hectares.
Chair of Tū Mai Rā, Jason Kerehi say, "Our people lost up to 97% of their former lands. To say the return of these lands as part of the Settlement with the Crown is significant to our people is an understatement.
"It is hugely important for our whānau and hapū to be reconnected with these lands and to take up the duty and obligations as owners once again of what is now our own private land.
"We are working closely with our lessee Juken Nissho Ltd to ensure a smooth transition and will also connect with our farming neighbours. Many of our whānau work at JNL or in the forestry industry so it’s important that we foster these relationships."
Rangitāne Tū Mai Rā are pleased to provide the opportunity for Rangitāne beneficiaries to hunt on their own land.
Experienced local hunter Troy Mason will be the inaugural kaitiaki for the Rangitāne properties. He comes from a long line of Māori hunters, learning from his dad Paddy and now hunts with his children and mokopuna.
Mason says, "People’s safety is our primary concern so my role is to make sure people know where they can safely go and get kai for their whānau and marae."