Minister of Māori Affairs Pita Sharples (left), Prime Minister John Key (centre) and Attorney General Chris Finlayson (right) sign a Treaty of Waitangi claims settlement with Ngāti Toa in 2009. The Waitangi Tribunal was established in 1975 so that Māori could complain about breaches of the treaty by the Crown. The tribunal could then make recommendations to government. From 1985, when the tribunal was given power to investigate claims going back to 1840, a number of major historic claims were settled, including that put forward by Ngāti Toa. The tribe lost much of its land when its leader Te Rauparaha was detained without trial in 1846, and suffered other incursions on its authority and mana. The settlement, worth $120 million, gave Ngāti Toa the resources to build an economic base for future generations.
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Reference: 12 February 2009
Photograph by Ross Giblin
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