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Treelord Treaty Makes Native New Zealanders Lords of Forests

Under the Treelord Treaty signed today, seven of New Zealand's native tribes will now own huge areas of New Zealand forest land. Addressing past injustices with tangible penances, New Zealand has transfered 435,000 acres of land holding large commercial pine plantations in exchange for NZ $420 million (US $319 million). The current pine plantations generate NZ $13 million a year in rent. The settlement also grants the Maori rents collected since 1989.

The indigenous Maori people constitute 15 percent of the island's population, but experience extremely low quality of life compared to other residents of the island. This historic and unprecedentedly expansive agreement gives the indigenous people a chance to improve their economic situation.

Iwi representatives sign documents.

Maori officials wait to sign the historic treaty.

Treaty Negotiations minister Dr Michael Cullen hongis (maori greeting) Te Atiawa kaumatua Sam Jackson during the signing.

A maori Waka (war canoe) escorts competitors during March's NZ Ironman.

Maori warriors practice a haka at Te Ti Bay the day before Waitangi Day (NZ's national holiday).

Should other countries use physical reconciliation solutions to correct past injustices against native people? Would taxpayers in other countries be ready to give up lucrative land to native tribes, if it meant natives would see sustainable economic and social prosperity?


lavieenrose lavieenrose 9 years
The Canadian government needs to do something like this with Natives in Canada. If Australia can do it, there's no reason why Canada can't.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
LOL! Yeah no one told them the War was over.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Are we sure these just aren't left over extras from Lord of the Rings who stayed behind after wrap? Someone should check that out.
stephley stephley 9 years
This is an intriguing story - I've been trying to work and find more of a history of the deal, to find out what motivated the government to do this.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
By doing this the New Zealand Gov. has not only made amends on a physical level but on a symbolic level they have suggested to the native culture that you are just as important in this world as we are. I applaud them. I wish we had done the same for our Native cultures. The fact of the matter is we gave most of them crap land and now have to go back subsidize these communities because they're not entirely self-sustaining. Either that or allow the worlds largest collection of assorted casino's and that does us no good either.
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