30 July 2009
PM welcomes acceptance of Crown apology
Prime Minister John Key has welcomed a statement of forgiveness from Wellington-based Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika that was given in response to a Crown apology for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The statement of forgiveness follows the formal apology given today by the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Crown, to Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.
The apology was delivered by Mr Key at a ceremony at Parliament following the third reading of the Port Nicholson Block (Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika) Claims Settlement Bill. The legislation settles claims involving the wider Wellington region.
Mr Key says the statement of forgiveness - the first to be delivered formally by iwi to the Crown - marks a new phase in Crown/iwi relations.
The statement was delivered by former Governor General Sir Paul Reeves, a trustee and deputy chairman of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust. The trust is a collective made up of iwi and hapu members descended from Te Atiawa, Ngati Tama, Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui, and other Taranaki iwi.
The apology says the Crown is ‘deeply sorry it had not always lived up to its Treaty of Waitangi obligations and its principles in its dealings with Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika'. (note: full text of apology attached)
"The settlement marks further momentum in settling outstanding historical Treaty of Waitangi claims," says Mr Key.
"The settlement recognises and provides redress for the breaches of the Treaty which have occurred as a consequence of the Crown's action or inactions."
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