Further progress resolving Treaty claims
Hon Christopher Finlayson
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
8 March 2012 Media Statement
Further progress resolving Treaty
Parliament has agreed to extended sitting hours today and, if necessary, to sit on Friday 9 March to give five Treaty settlement bills their first readings and to progress several Treaty bills through other house stages, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced today.
The Rongowhataata, Ngāti Whatua o Ōrākei and the Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement bills, the Maraeroa A and B Blocks Settlement bill and the Maraeroa A and B BIocks Incorporation bill (a private bill to set up the Maraeroa governance board) will all be read for the first time this week.
“The Human Rights Commission recently reviewed the last five years of Treaty settlements, and concluded ‘the pace of historical Treaty of Waitangi settlements increased dramatically, from ten milestones achieved in 2007 to over 60 in 2011,’” Mr Finlayson said.
“However delays in legislating for settlements mean delays for iwi in sharing the benefits with their people and putting these grievances behind us as a nation,” Mr Finlayson said. “It is a credit to this House and its members that they have agreed on innovative ways to address this through extended sitting hours, and it shows the broad support across parties for settling these historical grievances and moving on.”
Extended sitting hours keeps things moving and reduces the time iwi have to wait to take full advantage of settlement benefits.
“Iwi in many cases have waited many, many years for this moment to occur and it marks the beginning of the final stage of their journey to settlement,” Mr Finlayson said. “All these bills are about mending a broken relationship and agreeing to a better future for all.”
The Ngāi Wai o Maniopto Waipa River Bill, Ngāti Whare and Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Pahauwera and Ngāti Porou Claims Settlement bills will also progress through the Committee of the Whole House stages during the extended sitting hours.
Copies of the Deed of Settlement of these available on the Office of Treaty Settlements website www.ots.govt.nz