A great day at Parliament yesterday for the Taranaki Whanui ki te Upoko o Te Ika with the passing of legislation to finalise their Treaty claim. It is well worth folks from Wellington and beyond reading some of the historical account of that lies behind the settlement. There are some unique elements to this settlement. One is that in additional to the Crown apology for actions that breached the Treaty, the Taranaki Whanui have offered a statement of forgiveness. This is an incredible gesture, and gives a positive platform for the future relations between the city and iwi. The legislation also contains an opt-out clause for one of the iwi represented (Ngati Tama). This is not something that anyone wants to see become a practice in settlement legislation, but is reflective of the unique nature of the settlement covering Taranaki iwi, Te Atiawa, Ngati Ruanui, Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama.
We in Wellington all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ngatata Love and his team, as well as all the officials and Ministers who have worked so hard on this claim. I said in my speech in the Third Reading yesterday that I intend to send the full Deed of Settlement to all schools in the city. I think this is something everyone growing up in Wellington will benefit from understanding.