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Cullen: Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi & Hapu Claims Bill

Michael Cullen

25 September, 2008
Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill Third Reading

Speech notes

Madam Speaker, I move that the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill be now read for the third time.

Mihi to the Affiliate Te Arawa Hapu and Iwi
Te Arawa tapu
Te Arawa mana
Te Arawa waka
Te Arawa iwi
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

“I greet Te Arawa, its mana, its chiefs and its people”.

I welcome the representatives of the Affiliate Te Arawa who have travelled down for the second time in four months to listen a reading of their settlement Bill in this House.

Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa represents the largest group of people to reach a comprehensive historical Treaty settlement with the Crown. I acknowledge the tupuna and the iwi and hapu of Te Arawa, on whose behalf you are here today – who have carried the grievances for so long.

I acknowledge the presence of the negotiators and trustees of Te Pumautanga who represent each of the 11 iwi and hapu of the affiliate Te Arawa, and I thank them once again for their perseverance and patience on the long road from the signing of the first Deed of Settlement in 2006 to this last hurdle for their settlement legislation.

The third reading of this Bill is a significant occasion for the Crown and the people of our country.

It was the Hon Margaret Wilson who began, in December 2002, the dialogue between the Crown and the Central North Island claimants on how Treaty claims in the region could move forward. With the assistance of the Hon David Caygill in early discussions, that dialogue reached the stage where mandating and pre-negotiations could begin in mid-2003.

After many months of intensive and thorough mandating hui, the Kaihautu Executive Council submitted its Deed of Mandate to the Crown in December 2003, which was duly recognised in April 2004. The Crown and the Executive Council then signed Terms of Negotiation, setting out the objectives for the negotiations, in November 2004.

Since then, much has happened to side-track us on the road to the settlement legislation. Much of 2007 was spent considering the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal reports into the settlement and discussing how best to proceed.

However, with the entrance into the frame late last year of the CNI Collective, there has been significant and positive progress for the Affiliate Te Arawa and all central North Island Iwi.

Te Pumautanga has made a significant compromise by passing the final decisions about most of its forestry redress over to what will be the largest forestry collective in the country - for their benefit and the benefit of other central North island Iwi.
In return, the Crown has maintained the value of the Affiliates’ original settlement.

At this point I’m reminded of a phrase used by Te Pumautanga’s chief negotiator when confronted with the idea of making major changes to the Affiliate Te Arawa deal to accommodate the interests of the Central North Island Iwi. In his open-minded response to this proposition from the Crown, Rawiri Te Whare said “we are willing to be flexible if the Crown is willing to be generous”.

I think we have both performed exceedingly well in this regard, given the wide range of interests and the extremely tight timeframes that have been satisfied to reach this point.

I also feel that this settlement can be celebrated as a well tested, robust and sustainable deal, negotiated with humility and consideration for the Affiliate’s neighbouring iwi.

The Crown has learned important lessons from this experience, and will be infusing those into settlement negotiations into the future.

The first lesson is that we can be more flexible within the policy framework around negotiations.

The second is that we need that flexibility to deal appropriately with a whole region, when we negotiate settlements within that region.

Because of the successes of the Affiliate Te Arawa and Central North Island settlements, we have been able to reach an Agreement in Principle with Ngāti Manawa and begin negotiations with Ngāti Makino and Waitaha, Tapuika and Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Raukawa and Ngāi Tuhoe.

With relatively minor adjustments to the settlement process, we have enabled these groups to come to the table at the right time to ensure their interests are protected when we negotiate with their neighbours. This is achieving major results.

The package is substantive. In addition to the quantum of $38.6 million, and an entitlement to a similar level of accumulated rentals determined according to a mana whenua process through the CNI Collective, the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu will receive:
• a formal apology from the Crown to the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi andHapu for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi;
• an amended financial redress package to reflect Te Pumautanga’s participation in the Central North Island Collective settlement;
• the transfer of 19 areas of Crown-owned land of special significance to the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu;
• redress that will enable increased input into management over Crown-owned land; and
• protocols with certain government agencies.

I am pleased to acknowledge all of those of Te Arawa and the Crown who have worked to make this day possible.
In particular, I would like to acknowledge Rawiri Te Whare who could not be here today because he is overseas – a well deserved holiday I hope. His leadership, tenacity and wisdom over the past several years has steered the claim through some challenging times. I would also like to acknowledge the Chairman of Te Pumautanga, Eru George.

I also express my thanks to my predecessor, the Hon Mark Burton, for his commitment to seeking the resolution of Te Arawa’s claims, and the assistance of my colleagues the Minister of Conservation, the Associate Minister of Finance, the Minister of Maori Affairs and the Associate Ministers in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and all the Crown officials who have contributed to this achievement.

I look forward to seeing the Bill becoming law and the formal transfer of redress around the middle of next year, in tandem with the CNI Collective Settlement.

Tena koutou.


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