Mt Egmont/Taranaki will become a legal personality, in its own right, with joint responsibility shared between local Māori and the government in an agreement signed with the eight iwi of Taranaki in parliament today says Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little.
“This is a great day for the people of Taranaki. As a New Plymouth local I grew up under the gaze of the maunga so I’m particularly pleased with the respect accorded to local tangata whenua and the legal protection and personality given to the mountain.
“The Crown and eight iwi have signed a Record of Understanding over collective cultural redress relating to Egmont National Park (Taranaki Maunga).
“The Record of Understanding outlines the broad terms including repealing the Mount Egmont Vesting Act, and giving legal personality and the creation of a joint Crown-Iwi governance entity for the area within the National Park.
“Today’s announcement is a major step towards implementing seven individual Treaty settlements signed in Taranaki over the past 20 years.
“The Crown and Ngāti Maru ki Taranaki have also signed an Agreement in Principle today, paving the way for their Deed of Settlement which will bring Treaty settlements for the Taranaki region to a conclusion.
“Today’s agreements are a major milestone in acknowledging the grievances and hurt from the past as the Taranaki iwi experienced some of the worst examples of Crown behaviour in the 19th Century.
“At the heart of iwi aspirations is the importance of upholding the mana of Ngā Maunga, and recognising the traditional tikanga-Maori relationship between Taranaki iwi and their Maunga.
“The legal personality requirement recognises the mountain’s status in a similar approach taken with Te Urewera and Te Awa Tupua Whanganui River as all Crown-owned land within the National Park will be vested in a legal personality,” says Andrew Little.
A copy of the record of understanding is available at: www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/taranaki-maunga/