The signing of a Treaty agreement with Tuhoe today is a "momentous" occasion for the country, Prime Minister John Key says.
Crowds of people were expected to gather at Parliament this afternoon for the historic signing.
Key said it was the culmination of a long struggle for the iwi.
"A lot of people would never have believed we'd get to the situation we're in - where that agreement is being signed."
And, it was an important for the Government's goal of completing all Treaty of Waitangi settlements, he said.
"[Treaty Negotiations Minister] Chris Finlayson has been going at a cracking pace and presenting to Cabinet and the country very good deeds of settlement and this is another example of that."
Tamati Kruger, the iwi's chief Treaty negotiator, said the settlement would end a lot of anger and grief between it and the Crown.
Kruger, in Wellington with more than 1000 members of the eastern Bay of Plenty iwi for the signing, told reporters he would be a grateful witness to a very historic moment.
''This settlement will not bring peace to those who have lost a lot over a 150 years, I don't think treaty negotiations are designed to do that, I think that's why they are called redress.''
''I think we all sensed within Te Urewera that this was going to be the right time, we had the right people around there was a feeling of readiness to deal with this."
Ngai Tuhoe have long fought for self determination but appear to have settled for a new ownership model for Te Urewera National Park which invests ownership in neither the Crown nor the iwi.
The $170 million settlement also makes way for Tuhoe to eventually provide their own social services. A formal apology would also be made to Tuhoe for what Finlayson has described as a "brutal military campaign".
Kruger said Tuhoe accepted the legislation was the best the Crown could do in terms of offering a pledge and a promise.
"The best we can do is our love for mana, the mana of a person, their honour and their integrity. We're going to try our very best to keep our part of the duties and responsibilities from this settlement, and we are going to be vigilant about the Crown keeping their honour as well."
Some of the settlement money would be spent on basic infrastructure, such as water supply, sewerage systems and energy supply, Kruger said.
"We've been waiting 150 years for local government and the Crown to do their thing. We'd like to chip in and start that process with the view that it will inspire a closer working relationship and contribution from the Crown."
Mana motuhake was about taking responsibility for making and implementing decisions that affected Tuhoe, Kruger said.
"It is about not wanting to be satisfied as a beneficiary and a dependent on the state, but it's wanting to have a greater role in one's life."
Finlayson said: "To me it's all good centre-right politics. People look after themselves to the greatest extent possible, and the Government should only do that which is absolutely necessary."
The settlement did not mean the Crown could abdicate its responsibilities in relation to such things as housing. In various parts of the country the Crown had not done a particularly good job with infrastructure such as sewerage systems and water supplies.
"One of the things I see when I go out on the road ... is one of those regrettable realities that the further you get away from Wellington - and I hasten to say it's a bi-partisan comment because it's directed at the Crown generally - you do have issues where some of the housing, for example, is shocking, and it really does need to be addressed."
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