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Signing of Wairarapa settlement

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/08/2016

Signing of Wairarapa settlement © Getty Images Signing of Wairarapa settlement Wairarapa iwi Rangitane are due to sign their Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

Rangitane o Wairarapa and Rangitane o Tamaki nui-a-Rua earlier received sufficient support from iwi members to allow the settlement to go ahead.

It will be signed at a ceremony at Makirikiri Marae in Dannevirke on Saturday.

The settlement includes a Crown apology as well as financial and commercial redress and the opportunity to purchase Crown-owned properties.

Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre and scenic reserve will be handed to the iwi, who will return it to the people of New Zealand and co-manage the reserve with the Department of Conservation.

Rangitane leader, Manahi Paewai, says the settlement will be a catalyst for Rangitane to realise the dreams and aspirations of the iwi.

The settlement documents say European settlement of Wairarapa and Tamaki nui-a-Rua land resulted in significant transformation of the environment. Much of the Seventy Mile Bush was cut down to make way for agricultural uses, roading and railways along with the new towns of Norsewood, Dannevirke, Pahiatua and Eketahuna.

Becoming virtually landless by the early twentieth century had detrimental affects. Rangitane communities struggled to maintain their traditional homes, customary knowledge, and language.

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