For all non-New Zealanders:
"Iwi" = Maori tribe
"The Treaty" = The Treaty of Waitangi
- The Treaty of Waitangi expired in 1991 after the 150 year term expired. What this means simply is that Maori are now owners of some of what they had prior to the settlers coming here. Read more about the Treaty of Waitangi
The [New Zealand] Government has formally handed over forests and cash worth around half a billion dollars to eight central North Island iwi.
The Treelords deal is by far the biggest Waitangi Tribunal settlement to date and iwi say it will make them big economic players in the region.
Nine central North Island forests valued at $195 million have been transferred to the iwi, plus rent accumulated from Crown forests over the past two decades which equates to another $280 million.
The $500 million settlement puts the big deals of the 1990s in the shade. It's almost as big as the Sealord, Tainui and Ngai Tahu settlements put together.
The land deal is only the start of the process of sorting out cultural grievances, but the government says it will enter future negotiations in good faith.
In the meantime, iwi will spend the next two years negotiating with each other to decide how to split up the money.
Click to view image: 'Maori carving'
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