Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill

  • enacted
70 Apology

The text of the apology offered by the Crown to Whanganui Iwi, as set out in Ruruku Whakatupua—Te Mana o Te Iwi o Whanganui, is as follows:

“(a)

The Crown makes this apology in respect of the Whanganui River to the iwi and hapū of Whanganui, their tūpuna, and their uri.

(b)

The Crown recognises through this settlement that Te Awa Tupua embodies the Whanganui River as an indivisible whole from the mountains to the sea and the inalienable interconnection between the iwi and hapū of Whanganui and the Whanganui River, as expressed in the Whanganui pepeha “E rere kau mai te Awa nui, mai i te Kāhui Maunga ki Tangaroa. Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au” (“The Great River flows from the mountains to the sea. I am the River and the River is me”).

(c)

The Crown unreservedly apologises for its actions and omissions that have breached the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles and damaged the special relationship between the iwi and hapū of Whanganui and the Whanganui River.

(d)

The Crown deeply regrets that it undermined the ability of Whanganui Iwi to exercise their customary rights and responsibilities in respect of the Whanganui River, and consequently the expression of their mana. The Crown further regrets that this compromised the physical, cultural, and spiritual well-being of the iwi and hapū of Whanganui Iwi.

(e)

The Crown recognises that for generations the iwi and hapū of Whanganui have tirelessly pursued justice in respect of the Whanganui River. The Crown recognises and sincerely regrets the opportunities it has missed, until now, to adequately address those grievances. Redress, through this settlement (Ruruku Whakatupua) and the Te Awa Tupua framework (Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua), is long overdue.

(f)

With this apology the Crown seeks to atone for its past wrongs, and begin the process of healing. This settlement marks the beginning of a renewed and enduring relationship between Whanganui Iwi and the Crown that has Te Awa Tupua at its centre and is based on mutual trust and cooperation, good faith, and respect for the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.”