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Friday, November 21, 1997 Published at 15:43 GMT



World: Far East

New Zealand Maoris in land settlement

The New Zealand government has paid more than a $100 million to a group of Maori -- the original inhabitants of the country -- to settle a long-running grievance over land.

The Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, signed the deal at a ceremony with representatives of the main South Island tribe, the Ngai Tahu.

The settlement includes a formal apology for breaches of earlier agreements by the British colonial authorities, the return of land originally belonging to the tribe, and the renaming in Maori of many landmarks.

New Zealand's highest peak, Mount Cook, will in future be called Aoraki.

Mr Bolger said the agreement was an important step in moving to an era of development and prosperity.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service






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