Ξ July 7th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, International Terroirs, Interviews, Wine History, Wine News |
On June 25th the government of New Zealand announced the handing back of half a million acres of North Island land to the Maori. (The text of the settlement may be found here. The settlement partially redress the confiscation of Maori lands by the British in the 19th Century. Additional news stories of the historic event may be found here and here.
The historical density of this issue is far too complex for a modest blog to discuss. I trust interested readers will click the links I’ve provided for further research. However, I did contact Tohu Wines for comment. Tohu Wines is the World’s first Maori owned wine company.
And here is their reply:
Kia ora (good morning) Ken
The Waitangi Tribunal was specifically set up to hear and adjudicate on Maori historical claims back in (I think) the 70’s.
The government of today are facing an election this year and are wanting to fast track and finalise a lot of the outstanding issues relating to these before the election.
To this end Dr Michael Cullen the Deputy Prime Minister has personally taken control of the process and with the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS) is attempting to get as many claims finalised before year end as he can.
Quite a few claims have already been processed this year and the “treelords” deal is the latest. The deal is between the government and a few Iwi (Tribes) in the central north island my Iwi, Te Arawa being one of them.
By any definition this is a big deal, the largest Treaty settlement by value and by number of possible beneficiaries. The task now facing the successful claimants is to manage almost $500 million in assets in such a way that they generate income for investment in education, health, family support, employment, culture, creativity and identity of all our people (NZ Herald 30 June 2008).
I believe that the deal now has to go through Select Committee hearings before coming back into the house for its final reading.
This is a good result for Maori although it can also be looked at as small compensation for lost land and more importantly opportunities for Maori over the last 160 years. The overlapping claims by different Iwi also have been a consideration in the time taken to get a result.
In the soon to be released negotiation for my other Iwi encompassing eight Iwi in the top of the south island (Te Tau Ihu), the compensation package will be largely us getting back our own land with some (but not enough) compensation in $s to offset land taken in the 1840’s.
However all in all we are starting down the road to recover something, which I see as a good thing.
I hope this helps.
Mauriora (behold the breathe of life).
Thank you, James Wheeler, Marketing Manager of Tohu Wines.