The Ngāti Rangi Settlement Bill passed its first reading in parliament yesterday, marking the beginning of a new relationship between the iwi and the Crown, says the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little.
But Little says no settlement can compensate Ngāti Rangi for the suffering the Crown has brought them.
“No settlement could ever compensate Ngāti Rangi for the prejudice they have suffered by the Crown's acts.”
The Bill acknowledges the sacrifices Ngāti Rangi made for the benefit of the Crown and the resources they provided during European settlement in Whanganui.
“The Ngāti Rangi settlement includes the Crown's acknowledgments and its apology, financial and commercial redress totaling $17 million, and cultural redress including a statutory recognition of the Whangaehu River and shared governance arrangements for this treasured awa,” says Little.
“Throughout the negotiations Ngāti Rangi impressed on the Crown the cultural and spiritual significance of Whangaehu awa not only for their iwi but for their whanaunga along the river. Te Waiū-o-Te-Ika framework will provide new governance arrangements for the Whangaehu River which recognises the kaitiakitanga of all iwi connected to the river."
The minister acknowledged the negotiation team and kaumatua who have been part of the process but are no longer alive to see the fruits of their work.
"I acknowledge the kuia and kaumatua who have not lived to see a settlement. I would also like to acknowledge the significant work by the Ngāti Rangi Trust and their negotiation team to reach this settlement for their people.”