Members of the Tuhoe iwi have been told that historic Treaty breaches included indiscriminate land confiscation, wrongful killings including executions and years of scorched earth warfare.
Tuhoe today hosted the Crown at a 'Settlement Day' ceremony in the tiny town of Taneatua to celebrate the recent passage of Tuhoe Treaty settlement legislation. Several thousand members of the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi joined Crown representatives.
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson delivered the Crown's formal apology to Tuhoe for breaches of the Crown's obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.
"These historical breaches included indiscriminate raupatu or land confiscation, wrongful killings including executions, years of scorched earth warfare, the failure to implement the Urewera District Native Reserve Act 1896 and the exclusion of Tuhoe from the establishment of Te Urewera National Park" Mr Finlayson said.
Tuhoe also today formally takes custody of land currently held in Te Urewera National Park, a commitment made by the Government last year as part of a $170 million redress package. The agreement guarantees public access to the land, with guardianship held by the iwi.
Mr Finlayson says the ceremony marks a turning point in the Crown-Tuhoe relationship. He says the focus has shifted from the settlement of historic Treaty grievances to co-operation between the Crown and Tuhoe on areas of mutual interest.
The settlement also paves the way for mana motuhake or self-government for Tuhoe. Under mana motuhake, the iwi plans to take partial control of health, education and social services for its people over the next 40 years.
An historic flag that flew at the Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana's Maungapohatu community was returned by the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The flag was confiscated by Crown forces when they arrested Rua in 1916.
Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says today, was "a day to be remembered - a day to celebrate peace and a forward looking future".
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