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AIP Between Crown & TKahukuraariki Trust Board


Agreement In Principle Between The Crown And The Kahukuraariki Trust Board For The Settlement Of The Historical Treaty Of Waitangi Claims Of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa

BACKGROUND TO THE AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE

Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa are an iwi of approximately 2000 people whose area of interest lies between the Whangaroa and Mangonui Harbours in the Far North. Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa's historical grievances relate to the Crown's handling of pre-Treaty land transactions, nineteenth century land purchases by the Crown, and public works and scenery preservation takings.

The Taemaro land claim, lodged on behalf of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa and concerning a large part of the iwi's area of interest, was registered with the Waitangi Tribunal in 1985. From 1990 to 1994, the Tribunal heard the Taemaro land claim alongside claims made by other Far North iwi. In its 1997 Muriwhenua Land Report, the Tribunal found that the Crown's actions in relation to Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa's lands breached the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa claimants set up the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa Trust Board (later renamed the Kahukuraariki Trust Board) to progress their claims with the Crown. Trustees are elected to the Board from each of the six Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa marae. From 1997, a process was undertaken to enable members of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa to mandate the Trust Board to negotiate their claims. The Crown recognised the mandate of the Trust Board in September 2001 subject to four conditions, all of which were fulfilled by October 2004. Negotiations on the settlement package began with the signing of Terms of Negotiation in October 2004.

On 22 December 2007, the Crown and the Trust Board signed an Agreement in Principle. The parties will now develop a detailed deed of settlement based on this agreement, and also the post-settlement governance arrangements to receive and manage the redress. Members of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to accept the Crown's offer as set out in the deed of settlement, and on the post-settlement governance arrangements. If ratified, the Deed will be signed and the settlement will be implemented and the redress transferred following the passage of settlement legislation.

The Trust Board carried out negotiations on behalf Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. The Crown team is led by the Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon Dr Michael Cullen, and was formerly led by his predecessor Hon Mark Burton. The Crown team includes the Office of Treaty Settlements, with the support of the Department of Conservation, the Treasury, the Ministry of Fisheries and other government agencies.

SUMMARY OF THE AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE

The Agreement in Principle includes:

* a draft historical account that sets out the relationship between the Crown and Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa and the acts and omissions of the Crown that gave rise to breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. The finalised historical account will be included in the deed of settlement. The deed of settlement will also include Crown acknowledgements and a Crown apology for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, based on the historical account;

* the gifting of the Crown-owned Stony Creek Station and the adjacent Crown-owned Thomson and Clarke blocks - a total land area of approximately 3000 hectares. These lands will be vested with the following conditions and encumbrances:

* 450 hectares of Stony Creek Station will be subject to a covenant to protect its high cultural and historical significance;

* the Thomson and Clarke blocks will both be subject to an archaeological covenant to protect registered archaeological sites on the blocks; and

* for a period of 30 years after settlement date, should the Station be sold (or a transaction that resembles a sale, such as a long term lease, be entered into), 50% of all sale proceeds will go to the Crown;

* the gifting of the Crown-owned Stony Creek Station stock and plant;

* the vesting of a further ten sites of cultural and spiritual significance to Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa (totalling approximately 217 hectares). The transfers are subject to the protection of existing interests such as conservation values and public access where appropriate;

* the establishment of a joint advisory committee over parts of the Ranfurly Bay Scenic Reserve, consisting of two members nominated by the Director-General of Conservation and two members nominated by the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa post settlement governance entity;

* an overlay classification (known as tōpuni in some other settlements) over the Whakaangi Scenic Reserve. Under the overlay classification, the Crown will acknowledge a statement by Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa of their values in relation to the reserve;

* statutory acknowledgements over the Paekauri Conservation Area, the Akatere Historic Reserve, part of the Oruaiti River, and the coastal marine area adjacent to the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa area of interest;

* a statutory acknowledgement and deed of recognition over the Akatere Historic Reserve;

* protocols with the Department of Conservation, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and the Ministry of Fisheries;

* Ministerial letters to the Northland Regional Council and the Far North District Council, encouraging these local authorities to enter into memoranda of understanding with Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa; and

* an undertaking to explore, in consultation with the New Zealand Geographic Board, the seven place name changes set out in the table below.

Current name / Proposed name
Berghan Point (Te Whatu) / Te Whatu/Berghans Point
Paikauri / Paekauri
Akatere / Akatārere
Stony Stream / Waikohatu
[Unnamed peninsula] / Kowhairoa Peninsula
Ranfurly Bay T/ ataa/Ranfurly Bay
Rere Bay / Te Rere Bay

A map of the approximate locations of the redress is attached as Appendix 1.

NEXT STEPS

The Agreement in Principle is subject to the Crown confirming that the interests of those groups who also have interests in the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa area of interest have been addressed (in relation to the settlement redress outlined above) to its satisfaction. Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa have already initiated discussions with these groups leading up to this milestone. In the New Year, the Crown will consult with other Far North iwi whose interests overlap with those of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. The consultation process will give overlapping groups an opportunity to discuss with Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa and the Crown any views they have about the proposed redress in the Agreement in Principle. It is possible that the redress offered in the Agreement in Principle may be revised in light of this consultation.

The Trust Board and the Crown will then develop a detailed deed of settlement, which will be subject to ratification by members of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. All eligible registered members will have the opportunity to vote on whether to accept the Crown's offer as set out in the deed of settlement. The Trust Board will also develop post-settlement governance arrangements for holding and managing the settlement redress, which members will have the opportunity to ratify. If the claimant community ratifies the deed of settlement and the governance arrangements, the Deed will be signed by the Crown and the Trust Board, and the settlement will be implemented through legislation.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Who are Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa?

Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa descend from the ancestor Kahukuraariki and include the following hapu:

* Kaitangata
* Ngati Aukiwa
* Ngati Rangimatamomoe
* Ngati Roha
* Ngati Rua
* Te Hoia
* Te Pohotiare

Who will the settlement redress go to?

This settlement will be for the benefit of all members of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa, wherever they may now live.

The Trust Board has the mandate to negotiate a deed of settlement only. It does not have a mandate to receive and manage the settlement redress.

The deed of settlement will be subject to the establishment of a post-settlement governance entity that is appropriately representative, accountable and transparent, and has been ratified by members of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. If ratified, the governance entity will be established to receive and manage the settlement redress on behalf of all Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa.

What is the cost of the settlement to the Crown?

Settlement redress is made up of cultural, financial, and commercial components. The total financial and commercial redress usually includes a redress quantum. This is not the approach taken in the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa settlement because the major item of cultural and commercial redress available in the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa area of interest is Stony Creek Station, which is a significant asset.

As noted by the Waitangi Tribunal and accepted by the Crown, the land that makes up Stony Creek Station is of cultural and historical significance to Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. The covenants that will be placed on significant parts of the property under the settlement reflect this status. At the same time, the property is a working farm that will be a commercial asset to Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. In this settlement, therefore, the major item of redress provides both cultural and commercial redress.

For this reason, the property is being gifted to Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. The agreement provides that, if at any time in the next 30 years Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa treat the property as a wholly commercial asset and sell it, 50% of the sale proceeds will return to the Crown.

When will the settlement take effect?

The Crown and the Trust Board are aiming to initial a deed of settlement in late 2008. If the deed of settlement is ratified by members of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa, it could be implemented by legislation in 2009. After the legislation is passed, the deed of settlement will become unconditional.

Is any private land affected by this settlement?

No.

Will existing public access to the sites transferred to Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa be affected?

No, with the exception of three burial grounds and one 0.4 hectare proposed marae site to which public access will be restricted in recognition of the key spiritual and cultural significance of these areas to Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa.

Will overlapping groups be consulted on the Agreement in Principle?

Yes. The Crown will be consulting with other Far North iwi whose interests overlap with those of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. The consultation process will give those groups an opportunity to discuss with Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa and the Crown any views they have about the proposed redress in the Agreement in Principle. It is possible that the redress offered in the Agreement in Principle may be revised in light of this consultation.

Has any other progress been made in settling historical Treaty claims in the Far North?

Two other Far North iwi, Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa have also recently made significant progress towards settlement. Te Rarawa signed an Agreement in Principle in September and Te Aupouri began consulting its neighbours on its own Crown offer in October. Other iwi in the region are also actively discussing settlement issues.

How will the settlement address protests concerning Stony Creek Station?

The original Taemaro land claim, made on behalf of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa as a whole, covered an area that included Stony Creek Station and the Thomson and Clarke blocks. In its 1997 Muriwhenua Land Report, the Tribunal made comments that linked Stony Creek Station with Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa.

The protesters consider that the Station should be returned to, or is still the property of, a particular hapū rather than Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa as a whole. The Trust Board, which has the mandate to negotiate with the Crown on behalf of all the members of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa, has negotiated the return of the Station in good faith despite ongoing debate in their community.

The Crown has held Stony Creek Station in its landbank solely for its potential return to Māori as part of a Treaty settlement. The settlement with Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa will enable this return. The Crown is satisfied that the Trust Board conducted thorough mandating processes, including regular elections, and that their mandate is robust.

Who will manage Stony Creek Station now that the Agreement in Principle has been reached?

The Crown and Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa have agreed to explore entering into a commercial arrangement for the Trust Board to lease or manage Stony Creek Station and associated property now that the Agreement in Principle has been signed.

What will be the effect of the covenant over part of Stony Creek Station and the archaeological covenant over the Thomson and Clarke blocks?

The Stony Creek covenant will apply to an area (approximately 450 hectares) that is covered in regenerating coastal scrub. The covenant aims to maintain the cultural and historical values over this land for a 30 year period. It will prohibit, for example, the removal of vegetation and the construction of buildings.

The archaeological covenant over the Thomson and Clarke blocks aims to protect numerous registered Māori archaeological sites on the blocks. It will prohibit certain activities and land management practices that may damage these archaeological sites.

What will be the role of the Joint Advisory Committee over the Kowhairoa peninsula?

The Joint Advisory Committee will consist of two members nominated by the Director-General of Conservation and two members nominated by the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa post-settlement governance entity. It will advise the Department of Conservation on conservation matters affecting the part of the Kowhairoa peninsula that will remain in Crown ownership. It will also advise the governance entity on conservation matters affecting the parts of the Kowhairoa peninsula that will be vested in the governance entity.

Can Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa make further historical Treaty of Waitangi claims after the settlement legislation is passed?
No. If the deed of settlement is ratified and passed into law, both parties agree that it will be a final and comprehensive settlement of all the historical (pre-21 September 1992) Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa. The settlement legislation, once passed, will prevent Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa from re-litigating their historical claims before the Waitangi Tribunal or courts.

Will Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa gain any rights to the foreshore and seabed under the settlement?
No.

What are statutory Acknowledgements and deeds of recognition?

Statutory Acknowledgements acknowledge areas, sites or water bodies with which a claimant group have a special relationship, and facilitate the participation of claimant groups in Resource Management Act processes. They do not give the claimant group a specific property right.

A Deed of Recognition sets out an agreement between the administering Crown body (the Minister of Conservation or the Minister of Crown Lands) and the claimant group, which recognises the claimant group's special association with a site and specifies the nature of the claimant group's input into the management of the site.

What is an overlay classification?

An overlay classification recognises the cultural, spiritual and historical values of a claimant group with a particular site or area. It gives the claimant group the right to be consulted in the management of that site or area, but does not override existing reserve classifications or associated protections.

A full copy of the Agreement in Principle and information about the Treaty settlement process in general will shortly be available on the Office of Treaty Settlements' website www.ots.govt.nz.

APPENDIX 1

ENDS

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