Tūhoe turn out in force for Crown apology

updated By Te Ao Māori News

Hundreds have turned out to take part in the historical gathering of Tūhoe in Taneatua to hear the apology delivered by the Crown as part of the iwi settlement.

Minister of Treaty Settlements Chris Finlayson is delivering the apology now on behalf of the Government outside Te Kura Whare.

In his speech Finlayson is addressing the wrong doing of the Crown towards Tūhoe from as far back as the 1800's to the present day. He is outlining a timeline of events making mention of every moment in history where Tūhoe were mistreated and how this impacted on it's people and led to hardship for the Iwi as a whole.

He has spoken about Tupuna of Tūhoe killed as a result of their fight for sovereignty, particularly during times of war and land confiscation.

Tūhoe has also been gifted back an ancient Taiaha named Rongokarae which belonged to Tūhoe Tūpuna, Numia Kererū.

Finlayson has told Tūhoe, " The Crown apologises for it's unjust and excessive behaviour and the burden carried by generations of Tūhoe who suffered greatly and who have carried the pain of their ancestors. The Crown is deeply sorry for its failure to make amends with the way it has treated Tūhoe despite the honourable conduct of your leaders."

Te Uru Taumatua and the grounds surrounding Te Kura Whare is where the event is being hosted.

Following the apology a range of celebrations will take place including a performance by a number of entertainers like The Laughing Samoans, as well as a range of children's activities.

The settlement includes Crown acknowledgements of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, a Crown Apology for those breaches; an agreed historical account of the relationship between the Crown and Tūhoe; redress which will create a new legal identity for Te Urewera and see it co-governed by Crown and Tūhoe representatives; Mana Motuhake redress incorporating a social service management plan for the Tūhoe rohe, and a financial and commercial redress package totalling $170 million.

Te Kāea reporters Mere McLean, Wikitoria Day and Maiki Sherman are in Taneatua and will bring you more details throughout the day and tonight on Te Kāea at 5:30 and 7:00pm with subtitles.