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Mark Burton: Speech To Mark Signing Of Terms

Mark Burton: Speech To Mark Signing Of Terms

Ceremony to mark the signing of the Terms of Negotiation with Kurahaupo, Omaka Marae, Blenheim,

The signing of Terms of Negotiation is a significant milestone. The Terms of Negotiation set out the objectives for the negotiations for both the Crown and Kurahaupo.


Te Whare e tu nei - tena koe ki Te Rato
Ngâti Apa,
Ngâti Kuia,
Rangitâne, O Wairau
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa
Mihi mai, whakatau mai
E nga mate haere, haere, haere

I am delighted to be here today to mark the recent signing of Terms of Negotiation between Kurahaupo and the Crown. As I said when I met you in May in Wellington, I have been looking forward to coming down to visit your rohe for quite some time.

I must pass on the sincere apologies of my colleagues Hon Parekura Horomia, Hon Mahara Okeroa and Hon Mita Ririnui who wanted to be with us today to take part in this important event but were unable to obtain leave from their parliamentary responsibilities to attend.

Acknowledging Kurahaupo and its constituent iwi

I would like to acknowledge all of you here today, especially those who have travelled from outside Te Tau Ihu to join us on this occasion.

I would like to recognise and thank the Kurahaupo trustees and members of the Kurahaupo negotiating team. It is because of your vision and hard work that we are here today.
It is because of your leadership that Ngati Apa ki Te Rato, Ngati Kuia, and Rangitane O Wairau have come together, under the umbrella of Kurahaupo, for the purpose of negotiating a comprehensive settlement of their historical Treaty of Waitangi grievances with the Crown.

My officials have advised me that Kurahaupo has a strong mandate and that the Trust is well organised and well prepared for negotiation.

I would also like to acknowledge Alistair Sowman, Mayor of Marlborough District Council and councillors. I understand that Kurahaupo have a close relationship with the Marlborough District Council and I am sure this will continue to operate to your mutual benefit.

Your presence here is important, it gives substance to your comment - what's good for Iwi is good for Marlborough, I absolutely agree.

Significant Milestone

The signing of Terms of Negotiation is a significant milestone. The Terms of Negotiation set out the objectives for the negotiations for both the Crown and Kurahaupo. Put simply, our agreed goal is to negotiate in good faith for a durable settlement of all the historical claims of Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia, and Rangitane.

The Waitangi Tribunal heard those claims between August 2000 and March 2004. At the end of those hearings, the Crown acknowledged that it had failed to ensure that sufficient land holdings were retained in Maori hands in the Te Tau Ihu region, and that this breached the Crown's duty of active protection under the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Crown looks forward to receiving the Tribunal's Te Tau Ihu report, which I understand is to be released at the end of the year. The negotiation process will provide further opportunity for agreement between the Crown and Kurahaupo on the nature, extent, and impact of other breaches and how they might be redressed.

I wish to acknowledge here that reaching this point has been a long and hard road for Ngâti Apa, Ngâti Kuia and Rangitâne. These grievances have been outstanding for far too long. Combined with this, the Kurahaupo iwi have completed a long Waitangi Tribunal process to explain the grievances. Today marks the beginning of the final stage of the process.

Next Steps

From Terms of Negotiation, our next step in the process is to reach an Agreement in Principle that meets the interests both of Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia, and Rangitane; and the Crown.

In a sense, the hard work starts now. The challenge that lies ahead will be to sustain the momentum gained to date, through the inevitable ups and downs of the negotiation process.

But you have already shown, by your willingness to come together under Kurahaupo for the purposes of Treaty negotiations, that you are committed, to reaching a comprehensive and durable settlement that establishes a foundation on which to build a strong future for Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia, and Rangitane.

So as Sharyn Smith said, "Let us not negotiate in fear, or fear to negotiate" in order that you can indeed, to paraphrase Judith MacDonald, move from grievance to development.


So in closing, I want to say that I look forward to celebrating the achievement of the next milestone with you in the not too distant future.
Thank you again for the warm welcome and the positive spirit in which you have joined the Crown in this settlement process.


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