Ngti Poa, Crown, sign off on Treaty settlement including $23.5 million financial redress

Their land was lost, drained, stripped bare. Even the rivers changed course.
Auckland and Hauraki iwi Ngti Poa has signed its Treaty settlement with the Crown, in a deal including a $23.5 million financial settlement.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said no settlement could fully compensate the iwi, which has a rohe (territory) stretching from Te Aroha to Warkworth, including Waiheke Island.

Iwi members were killed during the Crown invasion of Waikato in 1863. Ngti Poa had interests in the vast swathes of land confiscated by the Crown in the following years.


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RICKY WILSON
Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says no settlement could fully compensate Ngti Poa. (File photo)

By 1865 the Crown introduced new laws creating individual title over iwi land - most of the land was sold or taken under the Public Works Act by the end of the 20th century.

The Crown drained and developed the Hauraki wetlands - altering the course of the Waihou and Piako rivers.

The settlement would incorporate commercial, financial and cultural redress - including the return of 12 sites of cultural significance.

It was expected to be signed at Wharekawa Marae, on the coast of the Firth of Thames.

Supplied
Waiheke Island is part of the Ngti Poa rohe. (File photo)

Little said the Crown sought to atone for the injustices inflicted on the iwi.

The Crown acknowledges that until today it has failed to deal with the long-standing grievances of Ngti Poa and that recognition of, and redress for, these grievances is long overdue.

The settlement would be administered by the Ngti Poa Iwi Trust, elected by iwi members.

Trust board chairman Glen Tupuhi said the settlement had been an ongoing, long and arduous journey, but was a defining moment in its history.

This signing draws a line in the sand with the Crown and enables us to start rebuilding our estate, and our cultural and economic legacy.

Crown apology​


The Deed of Settlement includes an apology to Ngti Poa from the Crown for its failure to protect it from the rapid alienation of land in the decades following the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi, the loss of life and the devastation caused by hostilities, and the enactment of laws and policies that have led to the loss of whenua and te reo Mori.

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