Ngāti Ruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki iwi settlement claims passed

By Heta Gardiner

The third reading for the Ngāti Ruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki iwi settlement claims passed today. All parties except New Zealand First supported the bill, but concerns were raised, even from those that supported the bill.

A result iwi have been waiting for a long time.

Māori Party MP Marama Fox says, “I'm very happy. Even though it was delayed, we're here now and I'm very pleased.”

But the ink has not yet dried on the agreement and concerns have already been raised.

Labour’s Hauraki Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says, “This is the first time I've spoken on area treaty settlement were I have a real sense of concern. I want to support the settlement and I will. Yet I feel that there is one matter outstanding that has not been addressed and must be. And it's the Pekapeka block.”

She is talking about the Pekapeka land block that isn't in the Te Atiawa claim. There may be further opportunities to that land under the Waitara Land Bill currently before the House, however Labour have concerns.

Labour’s Te Tai Hauāuru Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe says, “The other bill within the house may potentially, if we're not careful will impact this settlement negatively and the people of Te Atiawa.”

This wasn't the first controversy when it came to those settlements. The reading of these bills were delayed with New Zealand First changing its mind on whether to support them. The change of heart came just two days before the reading of the bills, to the dismay of some political parties.

The Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell says, “New Zealand First pulled the plug! They pulled the plug on Maoridom!”

New Zealand First is the only party that didn't support the bill.