Ngāti Ruapani sign-off on agreement in principle for $24m in financial redress

By Kelvin McDonald
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Ngāti Ruapani mai Waikaremoana and the Crown have signed an agreement in principle at parliament today, which includes $24 million in financial redress and the option to purchase the Crown’s share in Patunamu Forest Ltd and other commercial properties.

The agreement marks a significant milestone towards the settlement of Ngāti Ruapani's historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

“This is another step towards resolving the long-standing grievances and historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Ruapani mai Waikaremoana,” Treaty Minister Andrew Little said in a statement Saturday.

Ngāti Ruapani have a population of approximately 3,500 people and an area of interest centred around Lake Waikaremoana.

In the agreement, the Crown acknowledges its past acts and omissions that breached the Treaty, including using aggressive measures to acquire land from Ngāti Ruapani, and failing to ensure they retained sufficient land for the present and future needs of their people, the statement said.

The agreement in principle outlines the settlement, which includes financial redress of $24 million, the option to purchase the Crown’s share in the Patunamu Forest Limited and commercial properties owned by the Crown in the Ngāti Ruapani area of interest.

“While no settlement can truly compensate for the grief, loss, and past injustices Ngāti Ruapani have endured, it is my sincere hope that today’s agreement paves the way towards a comprehensive settlement and enduring partnership between the Crown and Ngāti Ruapani for the wellbeing of their people,” Little said.