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Tribunal endorses Crown approach

News Release
Tribunal endorses Crown approach


The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Margaret Wilson has welcomes the latest report from the Waitangi tribunal endorsing the Crown approach to the settlement of historical treaty claims.

The tribunal has upheld the government's approach in its dealings with Ngati Tama and Ngati Maniapoto over a settlement affecting an area where both iwi have interests. The settlement, with Ngati Tama will soon result in a Deed of Settlement being initialled. Ngati Maniapoto opposed any redress being provided to Ngati Tama in the area of overlapping tribal interests.

The Crown to approach such 'cross claims' is to seek agreement between the iwi, and if this is not possible to provide redress to the iwi that settles first in a way that does not stop the provision of similar redress to the other iwi.

In its report, the Tribunal says

"While we believe that it would not be appropriate to delay the provision of redress to Ngati Tama, the Crown has a responsibility to exercise caution in cases of overlapping claims. In out view, the Crown has done so in the case. We also commend the Crown's stated policy of making settlements dependent on the satisfactory resolution of overlapping claims, preferably by agreement between the claimant groups themselves."

Margaret Wilson says the Tribunal decision, following on a similar decision about the Ngati Ruanui Deed of Settlement, gives claimants and the Crown confidence about negotiations.

"Settlements can be concluded successfully in a way which meets the needs of all iwi and hapu affected. The Crown negotiates in good faith and it is heartening to see this approach endorsed, again, by the Tribunal".

ENDS


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