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New Zealand

Chatham Islands iwi signs settlement agreement

chatham islands
Photo: RNZ / Matthew Schunissen

Aotearoa’s most remote population – the Chatham Islands iwi Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri – has just entered a new era after one of its iwis signed an “agreement in principle” of treaty mediation with the King.

This is an important milestone towards the resolution of the historic Waitangi Treaty claim.

Agreement It outlines a settlement package that includes $13 million in relief, an option to transfer culturally significant land to Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri as a cultural relief, and relief shared between iwi and Moriori.

Much of the $13 million in economic relief and $3 million in cultural investment was to go to new PA sites in the archipelago.

The agreement also contained important historical acknowledgments – including that the royal family annexed the Wharekauri/Chatham Islands without effort to confer with the Iwi and did not recognize and respect its Mana and Tino Rangatiratanga. .

The Crown also acknowledged that indigenous land laws, particularly the granting of land to individuals rather than to iwi or hapu, caused prejudice to Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri.

The iwi’s chief negotiator, Tom McClurg, said that while pūtea (money) was welcome, formal acknowledgment of the Chatham Islands’ wrongful annexation in 1842 was most important..

Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri iwi negotiator Tom McClurg speaking to the media at the new museum

Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri iwi negotiator Tom McClurg speaking to the media at the new museum
Photo: RNZ/Aneke Smith

“In many ways, treaty relations have never recovered from that bad start. So this is a chance to reset the whole relationship between the government and the people of Ngati Mututunga here, and we are ready for a new era.” looking forward to it.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in Chatham today in torrential rain to officially open the island’s new museum in front of dozens of locals and their pets.

“It’s a really important opportunity to come here and finally be able to speak directly to the locals who have been behind so many things that have allowed us to make some progress today,” Ardern said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives for first Chatham Islands visit

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives for first Chatham Islands visit
Photo: RNZ/Aneke Smith

People spoken to by RNZ said they were delighted that President Ardern had visited the remote island to mark the occasion and believed the building would be a great resource for the community.

Jocelyn Powell, one of the museum trust’s co-chairs, said the museum has a taonga that once lived in an islander’s home and is expected to add more to its collection over time. Told.

“I think it’s become a real museum for Chatham Island, rather than a reflection of the mainland.”

The new museum was able to not only showcase the history and wildlife of the Chatham Islands, but also capture the wit of the local community.

Chathams-born Robert Holmes installed a timber counter in the museum’s reception, where visitors can find local crafts and works of art.

Robert Holmes standing by the counter of the museum he built

Robert Holmes standing by the counter of the museum he built
Photo: RNZ/Aneke Smith

He told RNZ that he is continuing the legacy of his late father who curated the first temporary museum at the Waitangi Shop in 1971.

“We thought we were helping him do what he was trying to accomplish without doing anything.”

“The deck is an Australian Jarra that came here for the old wharf in 1933. I decided it would be a waste to just leave it outside, so I thought I’d give it a try.

“The front part is a New Zealand Totara that has been here probably 5000 years ago, according to geologists. Found on the beach. Pulled from sand dunes. Perfect, but semi-fossilized. Not burnable. .”

McClurg said the Ngāti Mutunga treaty settlement is expected to be formally signed next year.

Waitangi Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said the signing was a step toward resolving long-standing historical grievances with the royal family.

“While no settlement can truly compensate for the past injustices endured by Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri, today’s agreement in principle provides a comprehensive and lasting settlement between Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri and the royal family. We sincerely hope that we will pave the way to reach a successful partnership,” he said.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/479512/chatham-islands-iwi-sign-treaty-settlement-agreement Chatham Islands iwi signs settlement agreement

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