The Government today finally heard the first reading for the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill.
A full 159 years ago, the Moriori people petitioned the government to return their land.
In 1988 their modern Treaty of Waitangi claim was lodged. Finally today, descendants of Moriori gathered for the first reading of their claim in Parliament.
The people of Rekohu are happy their issues have been heard, and reminisce about of the elders who helped get them here
Lin Entwistle says, "We think back in the 1800s where our great grand koro was writing to the Native Land Court saying, 'Help us, give us our land back' because we were being annihilated, we were being massacred.
"A lot of New Zealanders don't feel that Moriori existed. And trying to promote our imi are much alive and well has been quite a journey."
Maui Solomon has been the lead negotiator of their modern claim. The outcome, a Crown apology, 18 million dollars and land of cultural significance. He says their task now is to reinstate their mana as Moriori
"Restore our rongo, our waiata, our karakia prayers, and to instill in our people a sense of who they are as Moriori," says Solomon.