In 1995, the Crown formally acknowledged their gross pillage and wrongful confiscation of over 1.2 million acres of Waikato land with a settlement of $170 million and the signature of Queen Elizabeth II. Raupatu is the story of rangatira forging the Waikato-Tainui settlement and traces the tribe’s development over the following 25 years.
The signing of the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu settlement was an important milestone for Dame Te Atairangikaahu as the descendant of Kiingitanga leaders who had endeavoured to overcome more than 130 years of marginalisation. It was just as important for the Crown with Prime Minister Jim Bolger keen to break the log jam of historic land confiscation settlements. In hindsight it took courage from both Treaty partners to resolve historic land confiscation claims.
Waikato has invested millions of dollars into education since the passing of the Waikato Raupatu Claims Settlements Act in 1995. The tribe was playing catchup in the education sector at the time. Out of 15 tribes it had the fewest high school and university graduates according to the Journal of the Polynesian Society. Over the past quarter of a century results are on an upwards trajectory and at post graduate level Waikato can boast a network of 100 PhD scholars.
In 1995 Waikato-Tainui received a $170 million land and cash settlement from the Crown in compensation for the wrongful confiscation of more than 1.2 million acres of tribal land in the 1860s. Twenty-five years later the tribe’s commercial assets have increased to $1 billion.