Treaty Settlements Ministers

June 16th, 2008 at 10:31 am by David Farrar

Grant Robertson comments on the suggestion by Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa that all future Finance Ministers should also be Treaty Negotiation Ministers also.

Dr Cullen has made admirable progress, and should be congratulated for it. I suspect his job was made easier by the fact that he got to replace Mark Burton who showed the same skills at as he did with Electoral Finance.

I would not tie the job into the Finance Minister job (even though Bill English would do a fine job) but I agree with Grant you do want Ministers who are motivated to do the job and have some mana. National has at least three people who could contribute very well to the portfolio.

is the current spokesperson and has worked in the Treaty area professionally before he entered Parliament, and has good relations with many prominent Iwi leaders. is a former member of the Waitangi Tribunal, and was NZ’s first female Maori lawyer. The other person whom I would advocate should be included (I think the portfolio is important enough one should have one or maybe two associate Ministers) is . Tim is a highly experienced negotiator in the trade field, and at the end of the day a large component of Treaty settlements is a commercial negotiation.

13 Responses to “Treaty Settlements Ministers”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,241 comments) says:

    This reminded me of something I found out yesterday that I just did not know.

    It probably comes as little surprise to anyone here (I’m a little disappointed in myself, really), but Sir Apirana Ngata was (once it formed from the Reform and Liberal parties) a National Party MP.

    How bad must the teaching of history be in New Zealand schools that until yesterday I knew so little about the guy on our $50 note?

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  2. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    Interesting ideas DPF but I have a better idea as to who should be Treaty Settlements Minister. The best Treaty Settlements Minister would be… wait for it… NOBODY. That’s right, scrap the whole ridiculous grievance industry and pay compensation to those who have had their money stolen by the state to redistribute to iwi ‘corporations’. A public apology to all those who have had to accept lower standards of living and had their ancestors insulted would be nice too. John Key has it within him to deliver this, and I pray that he will.

    PS: Cullen has done ‘admirable progress’? What are you smoking DPF?

    [DPF: If you respect property rights you should support Treaty settlements. I suggest you actually read some of the history – the Crown and local Iwi did deals, and in some cases the Crown simply reneged and never paid up. There was another case where the Govt designated a 1 mile wide highway to get hold of some land the Iwi wouldn’t sell]

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  3. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Pick the best person for the job. Don’t tie it into the job of the Finance Minister.

    While I support Treaty Settlements, I do believe they cannot go on indefinitely. It has become an industry, which is, in this case, a poor thing, as those within the industry wish for it to perpetuate, ensuring that many continue to dwell on the past without looking towards the future.

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  4. Chris Diack (871 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler

    National was form by the coming together of the Reform Party and the United Party. The United Party was the successor to the old Liberal Party. National is at it’s origins, its moment of inception an anti Labour Party i.e. a political response to the rise and rise of the Labour Party. It’s most sucessful political tactic was to replicate Labour’s organisational structure and post 1941 to largely match Labour’s programme.

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  5. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    I have great difficulty with this proposition, not due to the capacity of any Finance Minister but simply due to the implication that these settlements will run for many terms of office yet.
    This is no more than an industry keeping people employed at the taxpayers expense.
    I certainly don’t agree this has a lot to do with respecting ones property rights and would love to know in each settlement how was the tribal land acquired by Maori in the first place, what did they use it for and how many living Maori today lost anything they owned?

    There have been greater perversions of property rights since this time, and the Property Relations Act springs to mind. Whose to say that will not be more widely considered ‘theft’ in years to come?

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  6. sonic (2,020 comments) says:

    Surely the idea that you can have a time limit on treaty settlements assumes that the treaty will never be breached again (which seems like a big assumption to me)

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  7. Nigel Kearney (1,988 comments) says:

    I doubt Roger Douglas is interested in the Treaty Negotations job anyway.

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  8. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Perhaps it assumes that if breached in the future we have provision for this in law which will be followed, whereas most treaty claims are from the distant past, where such provisions were not followed.

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  9. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    I would love to know how the settlements reached so far have impacted on the average Maori in those tribes. I could be wrong be it seems that the fat cats running the tribes are doing pretty well all the while we still hear about the economic plight, poor housing etc of those at the bottom. Maybe the money would be better spent raising the living conditions of all Kiwis regardless of race.

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  10. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Going off my stepmum and her family, I would say very little money actually reaches the average Maori in the tribes. They were also pretty disappointed that a lot of the tribe land was lying fallow, and had been doing so for quite some time. They felt pretty alienated from the whole process, really. They did try to get what they could out of the process, but didn’t seem to have much, in all honesty.

    It has been a few years since I’ve been up to the Bay to see her family though, so the land may not be lying fallow anymore, but I doubt it.

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  11. gd (1,870 comments) says:

    My granny had her house and land in central Auckalnd confiscated by the National governemnt in the mid 1960s supposedly for a motorway.

    Said motorway was then built on other ladn and grannies land was sold and now has an offcie block on it.

    I am seeking compensation for the 2008 value of the land less the price paid to granny in 1965.

    Oh I forgot. granny and I arent of the favoured colour so in this case i wont be getting a payout from this racist government

    [DPF: What if your Granny was never ever paid at all? Would you then not think she had a case? And if your Granny despite never ever being paid was willing to settle for just 1% of today’s value? Wouldn’t that be a good deal?]

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  12. baxter (799 comments) says:

    Well I think “Hone” Carter would be the man. He even talks their language. Bob the Builder could be his deputy if he could be persuaded to stay on…The noted historian Michael BASSETT was amember of the tribunal before he started insisting on historical facts instead of distorted myths. One historical fact that is indisputable is that there have been full and final settlements in the past. CULLEN’s latest largesse with our taxes towards the Te Arawa people is part of his scorched earth campaign to ensure that there is nothing left for KEY to use for tax cuts, nothing to do with fair treatment of Maori. What it has done is distort previous payments notably to Tainui and Ngai Tahu ensuring that they will be around to see John KEY for ‘catch up’ supplementary payments as provided for in their full and final settlement agreement.

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  13. Tauhei Notts (2,361 comments) says:

    When you have been involved in management of as as many Maori Incorporations as I have, and attended to outfits like Te Paraninihi Waitotara, and read most books about N.Z. prior to 1840, which were published prior to 1950 when the politically correct dogma commenced; then, like me you will find that the Maori people have been pimples on the arsehole of New Zealand’s progress.
    The most prophetic words uttered in our parliament were Ngata’s in about 1936 when he said;
    “Social welfare will be the death of my people.”
    In today’s Waikato Times there is a piece about how the King Country was stolen to build the main trunk railway. That railway brought considerable wealth to the King Country. And the only Maori people who did not benefit were those too slow to shift off their backsides. Rail was the way to cart goods up to about 1935, but notice that Thames got a a railway track 14 years before the tangata whenua, would allow the rail into Taumarunui.
    DPF and his old mate Montrose Graham have often spoken about dastardly deeds done to the Maori, and I would be grateful if they could specify any. I want facts, not historical myths. And talking about myths, I won’t be as patient as Ullysses’ Penelope.
    This confiscation farce that has been peddled so readily; farmers around Cambridge were walking off their “confiscated” land in the early 1870’s, and they were angry that only the worst land had been confiscated. Read that then listen to Tainui kaumatuas rave about the wholesale theft of their land. I do not know the Maori word for nauseating.

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