Ngāti Haua signed a deed of settlement of its historic treaty claims this morning, in the same place 158 years after its ancestor, the kingmaker, Wiremu Tamihana, laid down his taiaha.
About 150 people were at Te Iti ō Haua Marae in Tamahere just after dawn for the start of the proceedings, the arrival of King Tuheitia and the raising of his flag.
Negotiator, Willie Te Aho, says after deciding to bypass the Waitangi Tribunal, the Ngāti Haua Trust Board secured its mandate and terms of negotiation in December.
With a lot of hard work from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, the Office of Treaty Settlements and Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson have got through what is normally a two-year process in less than six months.
"If you want to go into direct negotiations, my approach is to not muck around because time is the enemy when you are in settlement mode. I want to make sure the old people of today get to see the fruits of their labour and the completion of one stage of the fight their people have fought for the in last 100 years," Mr Te Aho says.
Willie Te Aho says the $13 million settlement includes schools and courthouses that will provide an income stream to the tribe.
The day also includes the re-dedication at the nearby Wataruru Sculpture Park of Absolute Divide, and artwork by Cheryl Reynolds portraying the 1864 confiscation line that separated the Waikato and Matamata-Piako districts.
Copyright © 2013, Uma Broadcasting Ltd