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Agreement in Principle With Waikato-Tainui

Agreement in Principle between the Crown and Waikato-Tainui

For the settlement of the historical claims of Waikato-Tainui in relation to the Waikato River

Summary

Sunday 16 December 2007

Background to the Agreement in Principle

The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon Dr Michael Cullen, and the Co-Negotiators for Waikato-Tainui, Tukoroirangi Morgan and Lady Raiha Mahuta, have agreed on the terms of an Agreement in Principle to settle the outstanding historical claim of Waikato-Tainui over the Waikato River.

On Sunday 16 December 2007, the Agreement in Principle was signed at a special meeting of Te Kauhanganui o Waikato (the tribal parliament of Waikato-Tainui).

The Waikato River claim arose from the Crown’s raupatu (confiscation) in the 1860s which denied the rights and interests of Waikato-Tainui in the Waikato River. The river claim was excluded from the 1995 land settlement with Waikato-Tainui and was set aside for future negotiation.

Terms of Negotiation for the Waikato River claim were signed by the Crown and Waikato-Tainui in December 2005, and negotiations have been ongoing. A draft Agreement in Principle was released for consultation on 26 May 2007.

Summary of the redress

The focus of the proposed settlement is the health and wellbeing of the Waikato-River.
The proposed settlement reflects a shared commitment by the Crown and Waikato-Tainui to enter a new era of co-management over the Waikato River.

The Agreement in Principle provides a framework for co-management to occur. Co-management under this framework will require more than consultation alone. It requires a commitment to the highest level of good faith engagement and consensus decision-making as a general rule, while having regard to statutory frameworks and the mana whakahaere (authority, rights of control) of Waikato-Tainui and other Waikato River iwi.

The settlement will be centred on the establishment of a Vision for the Waikato River and a Strategy to achieve this Vision.

The Vision for the Waikato River will reflect a focus on restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the river for future generations. The Vision will operate at the highest level of management. It will set the direction for enhancements to the health and wellbeing of the river and will be based on a set of objectives. Waikato-Tainui have established a set of objectives that are recorded in the Agreement in Principle and there will be objectives reflecting the interests of all New Zealanders. The Vision will operate across statutory frameworks such as the Resource Management, Conservation, and Fisheries frameworks.

The Strategy will contain the actions required (the “how to”) to achieve the Vision.
Both documents will be developed to achieve co-management, and integrated sustainable management of the Waikato River into the future.

In detail, the draft Agreement in Principle includes:

Crown acknowledgements relating to:

-> The Crown’s raupatu (confiscation) in the 1860s which denied Waikato-Tainui their rights and interests in the Waikato River;

-> The failure of the Crown to respect, provide for and protect the special relationship Waikato-Tainui have with the River; and

-> The degradation of the River that has occurred while the Crown has had authority over the River causing distress to Waikato-Tainui.
• A statement of significance of the Waikato River to Waikato-Tainui in both English and Maaori to be included in the deed of settlement and settlement legislation.

• The creation of a Guardians Establishment Committee as soon as practicable after the signing of the Agreement in Principle.

-> Its membership will be:

* four members to represent Waikato-Tainui;

* one member each appointed by Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Raukawa, and Ngāti Maniapoto to represent their interests in the Waikato River;

* up to seven members appointed by Ministers of the Crown to represent the interests of all New Zealanders in the Waikato River; and

* one member nominated by Environment Waikato to represent the regional community interest.

-> Its functions will be to:

* develop a consultation draft of the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River; and

* develop and carry out a consultation process for the proposed Vision and Strategy;

* having considered the results of the consultation process, agree a final version of the Vision and Strategy to be recommended to the Crown and Waikato-Tainui for approval and inclusion in the deed of settlement and settlement legislation.

• The establishment of permanent Guardians of the Waikato River to have ongoing responsibility for the Vision for the Waikato River and Strategy to achieve this Vision.

-> Its membership will be:

* Up to four members to represent Waikato-Tainui and up to four members to represent other River iwi with interests along the Waikato River; and

* an equal number of members comprising:
(i) up to seven members appointed by Ministers of the Crown to represent the interests of all New Zealanders in the Waikato River; and
(ii) one member to represent the regional community interest, appointed by Ministers of the Crown after receipt of a nomination from Environment Waikato.

-> Its purpose will be to:

* promote and work to achieve the overarching purpose of the settlement to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations;

* assist each Waikato River iwi to exercise mana whakahaere over the Waikato River;

* work to achieve an integrated, holistic and co-ordinated approach to the management of the Waikato River; and

* act consistently with the Vision.

-> The Guardians responsibilities will apply to the Waikato River and its catchment from Huka Falls to the sea and the lower Waipa River and its catchment (see map below).

• An undertaking that the deed of settlement and settlement legislation will contain provisions setting out the Vision and Strategy and how they are to be given the highest level of recognition in legislation affecting the Waikato River and its management. These provisions will be agreed before the deed of settlement is signed.

• The establishment, in consultation with Environment Waikato, of a Waikato River Statutory Board.

-> It is anticipated that the Waikato River Statutory Board will comprise an equal number of Waikato-Tainui representatives and an equal number of other members. The other members will include current Environment Waikato councillors, representatives of the various local authorities covered by the Board’s functions and representatives of relevant Crown agencies.

-> The deed of settlement and settlement legislation will confer on the Waikato River Statutory Board powers and functions that reflect the intention that the Board will be an entity to implement and ensure compliance with the requirement to give the highest level of recognition to the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River from Karapiro to Te Puuaha o Waikato (including the lower Waipaa River) and activities in the Waikato River Mouth to Karapiro and the Waipaa River sub-catchments delineated on the attached map.

-> An agreement setting out how the Waikato River Statutory Board will operate to achieve Co-management will be developed before the deed of settlement is signed.

• An undertaking that the Crown and Waikato-Tainui will consult with a view to various Ministers of the Crown entering into Waikato River Accords with Waikato-Tainui regarding issues that affect the Waikato River.

-> The Waikato River Accords will reflect the intention of the settlement to achieve co-management.

-> The Waikato River Accords will be drafted and agreed between Waikato-Tainui and the Crown before a deed of settlement is signed.

• An outline of Financial matters that the Crown will fund.

• The financial package will include:

-> pre-settlement Treaty negotiation costs to cover:

* the actual and reasonable costs including fees and allowances for all members of the Guardians Establishment Committee and contracting specific services as they consider necessary for establishing the Vision and Strategy prior to the deed of settlement;

* an independent scoping study, to be undertaken between the signing of this Agreement in Principle and a deed of settlement, to identify clean-up priorities for the Waikato River;

* an independent scoping study, to be undertaken between the signing of this Agreement in Principle and a deed of settlement, to identify on-going operational costs for the Guardians Establishment Committee, Guardians of the Waikato River and the Waikato River Statutory Board.

-> Treaty settlement implementation costs to fund:

* a clean-up programme, based on the findings of the scoping study, with a guaranteed minimum annual sum for a specified number of years, which may be added to by other parties;

* the post settlement operation of the Guardians of the Waikato River and Waikato River Statutory Board.

-> in addition, but not as part of the settlement:

* the Crown will provide an endowment to support the vision of Sir Robert Mahuta for the Tainui Endowed College at Hopuhopu, as an educational centre within a national and international community of scholars, providing leadership and innovation, research and scholarship in indigenous development and practices, with a special focus on the Waikato River, including research, and management practices on improving the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River, and Waikato-Tainui tribal histories associated with the Waikato River; and

* the Crown and Waikato-Tainui are considering the establishment of a Trust for the restoration and protection of the relationship of Waikato-Tainui with the Waikato River including their economic, social, cultural and spiritual relationships.

Next Steps

The next step is to form the Guardians Establishment Committee. The Guardians Establishment Committee, once formed, will set about the task of developing a Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.

Waikato-Tainui and the Crown will agree outstanding matters and will develop a detailed Deed of Settlement. The Deed of Settlement will be subject to ratification by the people of Waikato-Tainui.

If the Waikato-Tainui claimant community ratifies the Deed of Settlement, the Deed will be signed by the Crown and Waikato-Tainui, and the settlement will be implemented through legislation. The settlement will be for the benefit of all members of Waikato-Tainui. It will recognise the interests of all Waikato River iwi and, by focusing on restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations, it will be beneficial for all New Zealanders.

Jurisdiction of the Guardians

From Huka Falls to the sea as shown in the map below:

Jurisdiction of the Waikato River Statutory Board

From Karapiro to the sea as shown in the map below:

ENDS

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