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Agreement to deliver speedier Treaty claims

Agreement helps deliver speedier Treaty claims resolution

Today the Crown Forestry Rental Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Waitangi Tribunal that both say will lead to the more timely resolution of Treaty claims.

The Memorandum sets out agreed principles for improved co-ordination and alignment of the activities of the Trust and the Tribunal to ensure that claims over Crown forest licensed lands are progressed more effectively.

“This is a practical step towards making the process clearer for all groups.” Crown Forestry Rental Trust Trustee Paul Morgan said.

The CFRT and Waitangi Tribunal believe the Memorandum will result in greater co-ordination of effort and enable outside groups to better understand the different roles of each organisation.

The Waitangi Tribunal is established under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 to inquire into claims by Mäori under the Act. The Crown Forestry Rental Trust is an independent Trust which funds groups with claims to Crown forest licensed land.

“Although the Trust does not settle Treaty claims, we have a responsibility to ensure the funding we provide to claimants will get settlement outcomes.” Paul said “As CFRT Trustees we are clear that the earlier claims to Crown forest land are settled and the assets released for investment, the better.”

“The Trust believes there is a definite Sector-wide commitment to improving the process and making the process deliver quicker results.” Paul said, “The CFRT has refocused itself on our core areas of responsibility. We are re-engineering the organisation to deliver quality assistance to claimants in as clear and consistent a manner as possible.”

“Treaty settlement requires hard work and commitment by claimant groups and the Crown, but the Trust wants to ensure that everything we do facilitates progress.” Paul said. “CFRT is committed to a positive working relationship with all groups involved in the settlement process.”

Background

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust is an independent trust with equal numbers of Maori and Crown appointed Trustees. It receives no taxpayer funding.

The main purpose of Trust is the management and administration of interest earned from investment of rental proceeds from Crown forest licensed land. It uses this to assist Maori claimants in the preparation, presentation and negotiation of claims before the Waitangi Tribunal.

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