Heretaunga-Tamatea on the cusp of settling Treaty claims

By Ripeka Timutimu

Māori from the Hastings region are on the cusp of finally settling their Treaty claims.

Descendants from 22 marae in the Heretaunga-Tamatea region travelled to Parliament to sign off their Agreement in Principle after years of injustice.

According to Dr David Tipene-Leach, “We are all ready within our sovereignty, and that's paramount not the money, not the lands gifted back by the crown, but the integrity, the sovereignty.”

“Also, the Crown accepting their mistake is another pinnacle development.”

The Agreement in Principle includes the return of Cape Kidnappers, which will be then gifted back to the Nation, and also $3mil for education and te reo on marae throughout the region.

Dr Pita Sharples states, “There are five claims pertaining across Ngāti Kahungunu, so I hope that they can work cohesively together.”

Dr Tipene-Leach says despite their gains, they will be pushing for more right up until the Deed of Settlement is ticked off.

It's predicted the Heretaunga-Tamatea treaty claims will be finally compensated by next year, giving them the opportunity to move forward into the future.