Ngāti Tamaoho receive apology from Crown

By Taroi Black

A Waikato-Tainui hapū has received an apology from the Crown for the loss of land and harm they experienced during the land confiscations. Ngāti Tamaoho signed its Deed of Settlement today at Mangatangi Marae which includes over $10 million in financial redress.

Treaty Negotiator Hero Potini says, “Our negotiators have opened a pathway of opportunity for the new generation of Tamaoho.”

Commercial and financial redress totalling $10.3 million includes the transfer of and opportunity to purchase specified Crown property. Ngāti Tamaoho will also receive a cultural revitalisation fund of $590,000 as part of its cultural redress.

Ngāti Tamaoho is a member of the Tāmaki Collective. The iwi’s area of interest area spans from the Manukau Harbour to Franklin District, the Hūnua Ranges, Awhitū peninsula, the Waikato wetlands, Tīkapa Moana (Firth of Thames) and north to central Auckland including Remuera and Ellerslie.  

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Chris Finlayson says, “I'd like to see them fully involved in having some say in the natural resources that time and time again and I'd like to see in this part of the world which as we know is a really rich agricultural part of New Zealand and I'd like to see them playing their part.”

After the Waikato war, the Crown considered the majority of Ngāti Tamaoho ineligible for compensation. Pākehā settlement in the Ngāti Tamaoho region resulted in significant environmental modifications over which Ngāti Tamaoho exercised little control.

Minister Finlayson apologised on behalf of the Crown for broken promises made to Ngāti Tamaoho ancestors.

Potini says, "We acknowledge that he apologised for the desecration of our culture."

Finlayson says, “The general public need to understand this stuff hangs around for generations and people say "get over it" but it's an intergenerational problem and only by confronting these issues and dealing with them positively our people are able to move on.”