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Ngâti Apa (North Island) Deed of Settlement

Date: 8 October 2008
Sub Category:Deed of Settlement (New Zealand)
Place:Rangitikei-Manawatu Area
State/Country:Aotearoa - New Zealand
Subject Matter:Compensation | Cultural Heritage | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
Summary Information:
This Deed of Settlement was signed by the Crown and the North Island iwi of Ngāti Apa on 8 October 2008. The Deed is intended to act as a final settlement of all Ngāti Apa historical claims arising out of acts or omissions by the Crown before 21 September. It takes the form of a settlement package made up of three key parts:

  • A Crown acknowledgment of and apology for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi (including agreed historical account);

  • Cultural redress; and

  • Financial and commercial redress.
  • Detailed Information:
    Background to the Deed of Settlement

    Agreed historical account

    The iwi of Ngāti Apa comprises over 3,200 members, and is based in the Rangitikei-Manawatu region on the North Island.

    The Crown and Ngāti Apa agreed on a historial background. Pursuant to this agreed account, three Ngāti Apa members signed the Treaty of Waitangi with the Crown at Tawhirihoe pa in May 1840. In 1849, Ngāti Apa sought to establish a relationship with the Crown and secure the benefits of a nearby European settlement through a land transaction that involved the sale of the 260,000 acre Rangitikei-Turakina block. The transaction also set aside a 35,000 acre general reserve between the Whangaehu and Turakina Rivers, to be settled by the Ngāti Apa. The Crown's failure to protect this reserve land is a significant aspect of the historical grievances of the Ngāti Apa iwi.

    During the same period, the Native Land Court was established through the Native Land Acts of 1862 and 1865 for the purpose of determining the ownership of Māori land and converting customary title into title derived from the Crown. The operation of this Court resulted in the alienation of areas of Ngāti Apa land - a development that was opposed by some Ngāti Apa. The Court awarded title to those members of the Ngāti Apa who could demonstrate ancestral and customary interests in parts of the reserve land set aside in the Rangitikei-Turakina transaction. However, this Whangaehu-Turakina Reserve had originally been intended to belong to all of the Ngāti Apa, and hence did not envisage the exclusion of some Ngāti Apa members from ownership of their tribal reserve lands. According to Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, these native land laws 'contributed to the erosion of tribal structures and resulted in the gradual alienation of nearly all [of the Ngāti Apa's] remaining lands' (NZHerald, 18 November 2009).

    Subsequently, some Ngāti Apa reserve areas were sold both by groups and individuals, adding to nearly 140,000 acres of Ngāti Apa land that was alienated to either the Crown or to settlers between 1867 and 1909. Crown land acquisitions made up 73% of the land alienation that occurred during this period. More land alienation occurred in the twentieth century, when many Ngāti Apa moved away from their traditional lands to pursue better economic opportunities. As a result of these developments, the Ngāti Apa have today been left with the ownership of less than 1% of their traditional lands.

    Events relating to this Deed of Settlement

    In November 2004, the Crown recognised the mandate of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Apa (Te Rūnanga) to negotiate a settlement for the Ngāti Apa's historical Treaty claims on behalf of the iwi. The Terms of Negotiation for this settlement were signed on 27 July 2005. On 12 July 2007, the Crown signed an Agreement in Principle with Ngāti Apa, and on 3 September 2008 a Deed of Settlement was initialled. Following ratification by Ngāti Apa members, this Deed of Settlement was signed on 8 October 2008. The Deed is significant because it represents the first time that cultural revitalisation redress has been included in a settlement offer (Burton, 12 July 2007).

    This Deed of Settlement has now been followed by settlement legislation in the form of the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Act, which was passed by the New Zealand Parliament on 9 December 2010. Furthermore, the Crown apology was heard by members of the Ngāti Apa at the Wellington office of Treaty Settlement Minister Chris Finlayson on 11 March 2011 (Stowell, 12 March 2011).

    Contents of the settlement package

    The settlement package under this Deed contains the following elements, which apply to all members of Ngāti Apa, wherever they may live:

    Crown apology

    Pursuant to this Deed, the Crown makes a formal apology to the Ngāti Apa for all past dealings that constituted breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. These include the following breaches of Crown obligations:

  • the failure to ensure that the Ngāti Apa were left with sufficient land to meet their present and future needs;

  • the failure to ensure that the Native Land Court upheld the terms of the 1849 Rangitikei-Turakina purchase deed; and

  • the failure to give adequate protection to the traditional tribal structures of the Ngāti Apa.

  • Cultural redress

    Parts 5 and 6 of this Deed contain provisions for cultural redress - a goal that involves 'recognition of the traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual association of Ngāti Apa with places and sites owned by the Crown within their area of interest' (Office of Treaty Settlements, Summary of Deed). Cultural redress under this Deed is also intended to address conservation values associated with these places.

    First, this includes the transfer of 12 sites of significance totalling 214 hectares to the Ngāti Apa, as well as the making of Statutory Acknowledgments recognising the special connection of the Ngāti Apa to three sites, five waterways and a coastal marine area.

    Secondly, this includes Deeds of Recognition obliging the Crown to consult with the Ngāti Apa and have regard to their views by virtue of the iwi's special connection to particular sites. The sites with respect to which Deeds of Recognition will be issued are the Pukepuke Lagoon, Omarupapako, Ruakiwi, the Whitiau Scientific Reserve and Taukoro.

    Thirdly, the Deed makes provision for place name changes, including the assignment of the name 'Parae Karetu' to the area known as Mount Curl, as well as the renaming of the Round Bush Scenic Reserve to 'Omarupapako/Round Bush Scenic Reserve'.

    Fourthly, 'protocols will be issued by the Ministers of Conservation, Arts, Culture
    and Heritage and Fisheries, and a relationship agreement reached with the Ministry for the Environment, to encourage good working relationships on matters of cultural importance to Ngäti Apa' (Deed of Settlement Summary).

    Lastly, cultural revitalisation redress including the gifting of five papakainga properties, the provision of funding for a cultural redevelopment plan and the allocation of further funding for the compilation of a comprehensive historical record will be provided to the Ngāti Apa by the Crown.

    Financial and commercial redress

    Ngäti Apa will receive financial redress comprising:
    - $16 million monetary payment
    - $2.6 million payment of interest
    - Ability to purchase licensed Crown forest land
    - New Zealand Units will be allocated to Ngäti Apa for no consideration

    'Ngäti Apa will have a right of first refusal for a period of 50 years to buy, at full market value, four Crown properties, should they ever be declared surplus to Crown requirements' (Deed of Settlement Summary).

    Ngäti Apa will have the opportunity to purchase, at fair market value, four non-surplus Crown properties (three of which are to be leased back to the Crown and include land only) up to six months after Settlement Date' (Deed of Settlement Summary).

    Related Entries

  • Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Settlement
  • Organisation
  • Native Land Court
  • Legislation
  • Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 (NZ)
  • Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Act 2010

  • Glossary

    Deed of Settlement (New Zealand)

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