Te Korowai o Wainuiārua and the Crown have today signed an agreement in the settlement of historical Treaty claims for three iwi, including the return of culturally significant sites to Te Korowai o Wainuiārua.
The agreement, involving claims by Uenuku, Tamakana and Tamahaki, also outlines a broad settlement package which includes provisional Crown ackowledgements of Treaty breaches and the financial and commercial redress of $21.7 million.
In a statement, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little acknowledged Te Korowai o Wainuiārua hapū's "history of large-scale loss of ancestral land, much of it within a very short space of time".
The land enabled the construction of the main trunk line, while the logging of the Waimarino forests helped in the construction of the colony's towns and cities.
"With this agreement in principle we acknowledge that history and are working to repair the relationship with tangata whenua," Mr Little said.
"Te Korowai o Wainuiārua are a resilient and future-focused group who are seeking a comprehensive redress package to fulfil the aspirations of their people.
"I am pleased to sign this agreement with them and looking forward to seeing it develop into a robust deed of settlement."