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Five Treaty settlement bills pass third reading

Hon Christopher Finlayson
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

29 March 2012 Media Statement

Five Treaty settlement bills pass third reading

The House today passed five bills giving effect to historical Treaty of Waitangi settlements, the most Treaty bills passed in any calendar year since the settlement process began in the 1990s.

“Today marks the end of a long journey to settlement for Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Pāhauwera,” Mr Finlayson said.

“It also shows the pay-off for accelerating the settlement process over recent years. Now we are seeing the end result of that hard work, which is settlement legislation being passed by Parliament so that iwi can benefit from the resolution of their claims and we can put these grievances behind us as a nation.”

Five bills received their third readings today, which is already a greater number than in any previous calendar year. In the ten years to 2009, on average only 1.4 Treaty bills were passed each year.

“This government has successfully increased the speed at which outstanding negotiations are conducted and concluded, through leadership and better resourcing and strategy,” Mr Finlayson said. “As the Human Rights Commission pointed out in a recent report, the rate at which we have reached negotiation milestones has increased dramatically since 2008.”

“However, all remaining settlements must be legislated by Parliament in order to ensure they are just and durable, and to demonstrate the Crown’s commitment to fixing the injustices of the past.”

“The members of this House are to be congratulated on their constructive approach – from the way parties have engaged in debate and select committee examination of the legislation, to the use of innovative methods to progress Treaty bills this year by sitting extended hours.”

Parliament’s Business Committee agreed to sit extended hours between 9 am and 1 pm today for the third readings of the Ngāti Manawa and Ngāti Whare settlement bills (which were debated as cognate bills) and the Maniapoto Waipa River settlement bill. The Ngāti Pahauwera and Ngāti Porou settlement bills were debated during ordinary sitting hours in the afternoon.

Copies of the deeds of settlement are available on the Office of Treaty Settlements’ website

Notes on bills:

Ngāti Whare Claims Settlement Bill
The Ngāti Whare Claims Settlement Bill settles all the historical Treaty claims of Ngāti Whare. The full and final settlement package signed today comprises cultural and historical redress including an agreed Historical Account, Crown Acknowledgments and Apology; and cultural redress that focuses on the importance of Ngāti Whare's strong historical, spiritual and cultural connection with sites within their rohe, including the Whirinaki Conservation Park. Ngati Whare have a beneficiary register of approximately 3,500 members. The iwi is part of the Central North Island collective whose financial and commercial interests were addressed by the 2008 CNI Forests Land Collective Settlement.

Ngāti Manawa Claims Settlement Bill
The Ngāti Manawa Claims Settlement Bill settles all the historical Treaty claims of Ngāti Manawa. The key aspects of Ngāti Manawa’s cultural redress package aim to reinvigorate the relationship between Ngāti Manawa and sites of significance in their area of interest, including through the transfer and gift back of Ngati Manawa’s ancestral maunga Tawhiuau. Ngati Manawa have a beneficiary register of approximately 4,895 members. The iwi is part of the Central North Island collective whose financial and commercial interests were addressed by the 2008 CNI Forests Land Collective Settlement.

Ngā Wai o Maniapoto (Waipā River) Bill

The Ngā Wai o Maniapoto (Waipā River) Bill extends the co-governance framework over the Waikato and Waipa rivers established by the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010 to the Upper Waipa River. It allows Ngāti Maniapoto to participate in that co-governance framework, the Waikato River Authority. The bill gives effect to a deed of settlement signed between the Crown and iwi in November last year. Ngāti Maniapoto has around 31,000 members.

The Ngāti Porou Claims Settlement Bill

The Ngāti Porou Claims Settlement Bill settles all claims by that iwi for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi by the Crown. The settlement includes financial redress of $110 million and the return of sites of high cultural significance in Ngāti Porou totalling approximately 5,898 hectares. It also provides Ngāti Porou with input into the strategic governance of specific conservation sites and relationship agreements designed to facilitate good working relationships between specific Crown agencies and Ngāti Porou. Ngati Porou has around 72,000 members.

Ngāti Pāhauwera Claims Settlement Bill

The Ngāti Pāhauwera Claims Settlement Bill settles all the historical Treaty claims of Ngāti Pāhauwera. The redress package includes a Crown apology, financial redress of $20 million and cultural redress involving 16 sites totalling approximately 1087 hectares to be vested in Ngāti Pāhauwera, subject to specific conditions including protection of public access.

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