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Waitangi Tribunal report on petroleum

Waitangi Tribunal report on petroleum

The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Margaret Wilson, said today that she looked forward to reading the Waitangi Tribunal’s report on petroleum.

The Government advised the Tribunal at an early stage that petroleum assets were nationalised in 1937 in the national interest and that it considered that no breach of the Treaty occurred.

The Tribunal has clearly formed a different view, Margaret Wilson said.

The Minister said that the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations are non-binding. She said they would be considered in a timely fashion in order to minimise investor uncertainty in relation to oil and gas exploration.

The Minister also moved to dispel any suggestion that Treaty settlements could be revisited in light of the report.

“Treaty settlements are mutually agreed by the Crown and iwi and settle all historical claims, including any historical claims relating to petroleum.

“The Crown has already negotiated two settlements with Taranaki iwi. One has passed into law and the other will be enacted by legislation this year.

“Issues relating to petroleum have been canvassed as part of the negotiations and, as part of redress offered by the Crown, protocols have been developed to improve the Crown’s interaction with iwi over a range of issues, including petroleum management.”

Margaret Wilson said the appropriate type of redress for any established breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi is a matter for the Crown and iwi to determine through negotiation.

In negotiations to date, the Crown had as a matter of policy and as a matter of practicality not considered interests in petroleum resources (such as ownership, royalties or shares in petroleum-based assets) to be suitable redress.

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