New Zealand compensates Maori tribes for land seizures
The government of New Zealand agreed Feb. 11 to pay $140 million in compensation to eight Maori tribes for illegal land seizures and breaches of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. The tribes will also receive control of land and other resources, and will receive rent from forests on state land and greenhouse gas emission credits. The tribes have 12,000 members living in both the north and south islands. Many packed into parliament to watch New Zealand Prime Minister John Key sign the letters of agreement.
One tribe has also been given ownership of the Haka—the war dance performed by New Zealand's rugby teams. The haka was composed by the Ngati Toa tribe's chieftain Te Rauparaha in the early 19th century to celebrate the warrior's escape from death in battle. However, the deal does not give the Ngati Toa the right to veto its use or claim royalties. (The Guardian, Feb. 12; Australia Broadcasting Corp., Feb. 11)
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