AAP, December 4, 2022
Jacinda Ardern has issued a “long overdue” Crown apology to a Maori tribe for warmongering and almost two centuries of breaches to New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi.
The prime minister travelled to the King Country settlement of Te Kuiti to issue the apology, the first she has delivered personally as part of reconciliation and treaty settlement efforts.
After 30 years of negotiations with the Ngati Maniapoto tribe, the government agreed to $NZ165 million ($A155 million) of financial and commercial redress, and the return 36 sites of cultural significance to Maori.
“This is a momentous occasion for both Maniapoto and the Crown and marks the beginning of a renewed relationship,” Ms Ardern said, reading the formal apology in both English and the Maori language at a ceremony attended by 3000 people on Sunday.
Historic wrongdoing dates back to the mid 19th century, when the NZ colonial government fought with and alongside Maori over land.
“The Crown profoundly regrets its horrific and needless acts of war and raupatu (land confiscation) which have caused you and your hapu (tribe) inter-generational suffering,” Ms Ardern said.
“Instead of respecting your mana whakahaere (authority), the Crown killed and injured your people, and pillaged your land and property.”
Ms Ardern acknowledged the government of the day was responsible for “devastating long-term prejudice”.
“As a result, your hapu and whanau (families) have faced significant socio-economic deprivation and lived in worse conditions than non-Maori. You were prevented from reaching your full social and economic potential and had to fight to maintain your Maniapoto identity and language.”