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Contemporary aspects of Wai 692 claim resolved

Contemporary aspects of Wai 692 Treaty claim resolved on Friday 3 October 2008

The Hon Mita Ririnui, Associate Minister of Health and the Wai 692 claimants are pleased to announce that agreement has been reached on a settlement of the contemporary aspects of the Napier Hospital and Health Services claim (Wai 692). The ceremony for the signing of the deed of settlement is to be held in Napier on Friday 3 October 2008.

“This has been a long and complex process and I look forward to the signing of the deed of settlement between the Crown and the claimants,” he says.

The claim was lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal in 1998 by Tom Hemopo, Takuta Emery and the late Hana Cotter on behalf of themselves, Te Taiwhenua o te Whanganui a Orotu and the peoples within the Ngâti Kahungunu tribal rohe of Ahuriri.

In 1998 the majority of hospital services were moved from Napier hospital on the hill to the regional hospital site in Hastings. The Treaty claim was lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal in response to the decision to close Napier hospital. The settlement will provide the new claimant entity with resources to provide targeted health services in the Maraenui area of Napier.

The historical aspects of the Wai 692 claim will be addressed by the Office of Treaty Settlements.


Questions and Answers

Q. How did the claim come about?

In 1994, Health Care Hawke’s Bay decided to regionalise acute hospital services in Hastings and to scale down facilities and services at Napier Hospital. This change of service configuration within the Hawke’s Bay region eventually led to the decision to close the Napier Hospital and establish the Napier Health Centre. As a result of this, two claims were filed with the Waitangi Tribunal. In 1994 Pirika Tom Hemopo, authorised by Te Taiwhenua Te Whanganui a Orotu, initiated Wai 473. Action was not taken on this claim and subsequently a second claim was lodged in 1998. In filing this second claim, registered as Wai 692, Mr Hemopo was joined by Takuta Hohepa Mei Emery and the late Hana Cotter.

Q. What is alleged in the statement of claim?

The claim concerned the Crown’s Treaty obligation to Mâori in respect of health services. The claimants alleged that the Crown breached Treaty principles in both historical and contemporary times by failing to provide for the health and wellbeing of Ahuriri Mâori. It is also alleged that the Crown failed to meet an enduring obligation arising from the 1851 Ahuriri Crown purchase to provide hospital and health services to Ahuriri Mâori from Mataruahou (Napier Hill). In the contemporary period the claimants alleged that Napier Hospital was downgraded and closed during the 1990s without adequate consultation.

Q. What is significant about the signing of the deed of settlement for the contemporary aspects of Wai 692?

The signing of the deed of settlement for the contemporary aspects of Wai 692 signals a resolution of the first health related Treaty of Waitangi claim. It is a historical occasion that acknowledges the work of the claimant group, particularly the original claimants; the late Hana Lyola Cotter, Takuta Hohepa Mei Emery and Pirika Tom Hemopo.

Q. What is covered in the deed of settlement for the contemporary aspects of Wai 692?

The deed of settlement resolves and settles the contemporary aspects of the Wai 692 but not the historical aspects of the claim that relate to events prior to September 1992. These events form part of the Ahuriri historical claims to be settled separately.

Q. What did the Waitangi Tribunal say?

The Waitangi Tribunal issued its report in August 2001. The Tribunal found that the majority of the Wai 692 claimants’ concerns were well founded and recommended that a Community Health Centre be established, governed by trustees on behalf of Ahuriri Mâori and bicultural in character, serving the special needs of Ahuriri Mâori but open to all. It suggested that the Centre should function as an integrated care organisation providing a variety of primary, public, promotional, educational and rongoa Mâori services.

Q. What did Cabinet say?
In June 2003, Cabinet Policy Committee agreed to set aside consideration of the Tribunal’s report at that time for a number of reasons. Nonetheless, the Cabinet Policy Committee acknowledged that the claimants had a number of concerns. Officials were authorised to enter into good faith negotiations with the claimants in order to try and achieve agreement and resolution to the contemporary aspects of the claim. Negotiations were to address the following concerns and issues:
· health inequalities
· limited Mâori provider and Mâori workforce development
· non-inclusion of Mâori in decision-making processes of Hawke’s Bay Crown health agencies
· lack of mainstream responsiveness to Mâori
· perception that the Crown failed to consult with Mâori over the closure of the Napier Hospital and transfer of regional health services to neighbouring Hastings appropriately.

Q. What is the settlement package?

The settlement package consists of the transfer of two residential properties in Maraenui, Napier together with establishment funding and funding for the provision of health services from these properties. A full consultation process regarding the transfer of these properties will be carried out with the Hawke's Bay Community, following the signing of the deed. The parties are confident that the settlement will make a material contribution to the future health and wellbeing of the Mâori community in Napier. The claimants will work hand in hand with the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board to deliver better health outcomes for Ahuriri Mâori. The quantum of settlement assets is $2.693M.

Q. Time-line of the Wai 692 claim?

January 1998 Napier Hospital and Health Services Claim Wai 692 lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal
August 2001 Tribunal issued a report that looked at a number of issues arising during the 1980s and 1990s
June 2003 Cabinet mandated Crown officials to enter into good faith negotiations with the claimants of Wai 692
November 2004 Terms of Reference signed for negotiations between the Crown and claimants
November 2006 Heads of Agreement reached on settlement assets
October 2008 Deed of Settlement signed

Q. Support for Ratification?

In achieving this settlement of contemporary aspects of the Wai 692 claim the claimants have the support of the Ahuriri Large Natural Group (who are mandated to negotiate resolution of the historical claims of Ahuriri Mâori and also Napier Taiwhenua (Te Taiwhenua O Te Whanganui a Orotu) and Ngati Kahungungu Iwi Incorporated.

Q. How is this contemporary claim linked with the historical claim?

The historical aspects of Wai 692 are still to be resolved as part of the negotiations for the resolution of the historical claims of Ahuriri Mâori. The Office of Treaty Settlements will be responsible for these negotiations.


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