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Ed Sheeran

Waitara deal better than none

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The chair of a Waitara hapū says uri now have a chance to start build a future for their grandchildren.

Parliament this week passed the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill, which will allow lessees to freehold their sections at market rates.

Pasty Bodger from Manukōrihi says not many people will be happy with the final shape of the bill, but it means the hapū can move forward after generations of failed attempts to resolve a grievance that stretches back to 1860, when the crown went to war with Taranaki Maori to enforce a disputed land sale.

Her thought goes to those ancestors who tried to hang on to the land.

"We just mihi to them and we never forget them. It's really to talk about our tūpuna and we only hope we have done them justice but we see it as as a start for our people and a platform," she says.

Money raised from freeholding the leases will be split between Manukōrihi and Otaraua hapū and the council, and the hapū will have rights of first refusal over some land as well as seats on the boards that will decide how the money is spent for the benefit of the community and the environment.







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