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Ed Sheeran

Moriori trust search for descendants
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Moriori are on searching for other descendants whose whakapapa has been hidden or lost.

Negotiators this week initialled a deed of settlement in which the crown acknowledges the harm done to the people indigenous to Rekohu-Chatham Islands including allowing them to remain enslaved even after islands were brought under the Treaty of Waitangi, and handing over 98 percent of land on the island to invaders from Ngati Mutunga.

Chief negotiator Maui Solomon says Moriori maintained they were never conquered because they maintained their customary tikanga of non-violence.

He says the history of slavery and land loss meant many of the people had to leave the islands, and they kept their Moriori identity from public view because of persecution.

" I mean crikey I was told at school as a young man that there was no such thing as Moriori, that we were extinct, we were a myth, so imagine what it was like for those poor buggers back in the 1850s, 60s and 70s so many of them lost their connection back to Moriori," Mr Solomon says.

Hokotehi Moriori Trust estimates there are between 5000 and 8000 people of Moriori descent, and it hopes to reconnect with many of them during the ratification process.


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