Ngāti Maru settle historical treaty claims with Crown

By Te Ao - Māori News

A deed of settlement has been signed between Taranaki iwi Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Treaty Minister Andrew Little announced today.

The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and west to Mount Taranaki. The iwi has approximately 2,800 registered members.

Ngāti Maru's historical grievances include the Crown’s unjust and indiscriminate confiscation of half of the iwi’s land in 1865.

In a statement, Minister Little said this raupatu - and subsequent effects of Compensation Court and Native Land Court decisions - were devastating to the mana, welfare, economy and socio-cultural development of Ngāti Maru.

He said the Crown’s actions at Parihaka between 1879 and 1881, where military forces imprisoned members of Ngāti Maru for participating in a peaceful resistance campaign, has been a significant burden for Ngāti Maru.

“As a result of the Crown’s acts and omissions, Ngāti Maru have been left virtually landless and their people displaced and dispersed,” said Little.

The settlement includes an apology from the Crown and a set of acknowledgements addressing its historical breaches of the Treaty. Ngāti Maru will receive financial and commercial redress valued at $30 million. Cultural redress includes the vesting of 16 sites of cultural significance, including Pūrangi and Tarata Domains. 

The settlement redress will be administered by Te Kāhui Maru Trust: Te iwi o Maruwharanui, a post-settlement governance entity created by iwi members.

“While no redress can ever fully compensate for the destructive and demoralising effects of Crown actions, I hope this settlement will allow Ngāti Maru to realise their aspirations for a vibrant economic and cultural future, and restores a relationship based on mutual trust, respect, and cooperation,” the minister said.

A copy of the Deed of Settlement is available here.