Treaty Settlements

December 6th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

A few weeks ago I sent an OIA request to the Office of Treaty Settlements asking for the following information for each historic grievance negotiation and settlement.

While I (like most people) are not overly impressed by modern claims such as the Maori Council for ownership of water, I do believe that it is very important to have fair, full and final settlements over the historic grievances of the 1800s.  Getting these settled will allow most Iwi to focus on the future, rather than past grievances. Ngai Tahi is a great example of that.

I believe it is a win-win getting these settled faster (so long as full and final), rather than slower, as it is good for the Iwi and also good for the country to get them behind us.

There are five main steps in each treaty settlement. They are:

  • Terms of Negotiation agreed. This is not a particularly significant step. It is basically just saying this is who we are negotiating with, and what the issues are
  • Agreement in Principle.  This is arguably the most difficult step. It is the basis of the final settlement, and includes the quantum of reparation (note that is not always the most difficult issue though).
  • Initialling of draft deed of settlement. This is a near automatic step after the agreement in principle, and it is after this step that negotiators go back to Iwi members for ratification
  • Signing of final deed of settlement. This is also a very important step. At this stage, the agreement is final, subject to legislation.
  • Enabling legislation. This is near automatic also, and is just a matter of finding time on the legislative calendar normally.

Now we’ve had five Ministers. I’ve colour coded the table below to show them. They are:

As you can see Doug Graham started them off, and saw through the two largest ones of Ngai Tahu and Tainui, along with a few others in 1999.
Margaret Wilson in four years only managed five agreements, and finished off three of Graham’s.
Mark Burton did just two agreements in three years. So for seven years, there were just eight agreements in principle. At that rate we’d still be negotiating these in 2050!
Michael Cullen did a pretty good job of picking the pace up. He did 12 agreements in just one year!
And Chris Finlayson in four years has done 48 agreements or settlements. We won’t make the goal of having all settlements done by the end of 2014, but we’ll be pretty well advanced towards it.
Even those who are not fans of the settlements, should appreciate the benefits of getting them done sooner or quicker. No party in Parliament (from ACT to Mana) claims these should not happen. They will occur – it is just a matter of how fast, and for how much. I’ll do a separate post on the quantums, but they do not vary greatly by Government as there is a lot of care taken with internal relativity.
My thanks to OTS for the data on which I based the table.

57 Responses to “Treaty Settlements”

  1. scrubone (3,798 comments) says:

    Any reason why those lower on the list don’t have the earlier dates?

    [DPF: Not sure. In some cases the earlier steps may not have happened, or early on there was a different process]

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  2. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    “I do believe that it is very important to have fair, full and final settlements over the historic grievances of the 1800s.”

    I don’t, and even if I did, the Waitangi Tribunal and its hearings are an utter crock. It is utterly ridiculous that this generation,which had nothing to do with these claimed wrongs, should be held to be monetarily responsible for something that allegedly occurred centuries ago. There should not be any compensation payable. If there is a legitimate grievance it should be settled by apology and nothing more.

    Who is handling the defence of the Crown at the tribunal hearings?

    No one.

    Therefore the Tribunal’s findings are a complete travesty of justice.

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  3. Manolo (22,377 comments) says:

    The whole process is farcical. Maoridom will continue to demand money until kingdom comes.
    The financial burden on taxpayers is something to consider before giving more and more money away.

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  4. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    David, David….in just over 3000 comments here – and a few guest posts – I have never accused you of pro-government spin, but the above is spinning like a washing machine. The idea that we will ever get full and final settlements is just moonshine, and you know. You know it, I know it, and everyone who has any remotely cursory understanding of “treaty settlements” knows it.

    There is NEVER going to be ANY full and final settlement of historical treaty grievances. Aside from the now well known fact that the major grievances (Waikato, Taranaki, and Ngai Tahu) were supposedly the subject of full and final settlements in the 1940’s, the latest generation of Maori are quite open about the reality – from their perspective – that one generation cannot bind another. The 1940’s settlements were all put into legislation including sections stating that the disputes were “finally settled.” It is now argued that those settlements:1) were done with the wrong people; and 2) the sums paid were trifling; and 3) in any event, the compensation was eroded by inflation. Of those three, only the last is true, and that happened to everyone on a fixed income after about 1972.

    I suggest you get Te Puea by the late Michael King (recommended to me as the most reliable source by no less than Denese Henare, then lawyer for Tainui, 20 years ago when the latest “full and final” settlements were done) and read the chapter on the Raupatu settlements. Then do a little research on the value in 1946 of 6000 pounds. You will find that in 1946 6000 pounds bought you a decent dairy farm in the Waikato, so $2-3 million annually in perpetuity.

    Then come back and try and argue that those settlements were not intended by both sides to be full and final. You must at least agree that once you have a second full and final settlement the way is theoretically open for there to be an unlimited number of them?

    [DPF: David I resent any suggestion this is spin for anyone. No-one suggested it to me – I was genuinely interested in the pace of the various Ministers. In fact I asked the Govt three times for the data over around eight months and they never got around to it, so I finally did an OIA request to the OTS.

    I disagree entirely that these will not be full and final. Yes there were a handful of settlements in the 1940s but they were not comprehensive and had nothing like the process these had. These ones have been meticulous in making sure negotiators get a mandate, that the deed of settlement is accepted by Iwi wide vote and that there is specific legislation to extinguish the claim.

    In the 22 years these settlements have been going on, not one Iwi has tried to relitigate something covered off by a settlement.

    I would also point out that the party you got elected to Parliament for had a policy of supporting these historical settlements. I expect nothing less from a party that supports proper rights.

    People should read some of the details in these cases. While in a few there is contested evidence, you have many where (for example) the Crown signed a deal yet simply never ever paid. Do you really want to argue they should have no rights because they were Maori and it happened a long time ago?

    The average settlement is around 1% of the value of the lands. On average they cost the taxpayer $50 million a year which is around 0.1% of government expenditure.

    All eight parties in Parliament support settling these historical claims. So do the vast majority of fair minded New Zealanders. The so called “modern” claims are a different issue, but they should not be confused with settling these claims.

    In fact these settlements are not really even much to do with the Treaty. They are simply reparation for theft]

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  5. Longknives (6,514 comments) says:

    “The whole process is farcical. Maoridom will continue to demand money until kingdom comes.”

    Sums it up perfectly. I have nothing further to add…..

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  6. Reid (21,595 comments) says:

    There is NEVER going to be ANY full and final settlement of historical treaty grievances.

    No but it’s a question of lifetimes. So far this has been going for close to forty years, two generations. If we can get this round finished in the next five years for the lefties will drag their heels again after 2014 and it’ll take that long, we seal the deal at least for the next five or so generations. Beyond that who cares? We won’t, that’s for sure. And it will all have been resolved without a drop of blood being shed. I hope and expect. It would be a national tragedy if that proud, telling and possibly unique record, didn’t continue to hold true.

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  7. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    “And it will all have been resolved”

    Naive fairy tale bullshit.

    You don’t get rid of termites by paying them to eat your house.

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  8. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    It is the pretending that pisses me off….if some Poli – it certainly won’t be Finlayson – would just admit that every twenty years or so “we” (this concept of “the Crown” is just bullshit, the Crown uses our money) are going to have to pay some more to appease the restive aboriginals, I wouldnt mind so much.

    There is no doubt there were grievous wrongs done by early governments – that has been acknowledged since at least the Sim Report of 1924 which acknowledged that the confiscations under the 1862 Act were unlawful, and recommended full and fair compensation be paid fortwith. It took 20 years for that to happen, but it did, in the 1940’s settlements. End of. Except it isn’t, it never will be, and some government has got to have the guts to say so.

    Then, like a family saving up for Christimas, we can all budget as a country for the next payout.

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  9. nonpartisan (41 comments) says:

    There will never be full and final settlement. The victim mentality is now so far entrenched, that no amount of money is going to be enough. Why on earth would you want to move on and have the public money tap turned off? And it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever see a political party with the nads to stand up to them. The whole show is out of control.

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  10. Dave Stringer (220 comments) says:

    THe end is in sight!

    If we change to a democratic republic, we will be breaking all ties with the Crown and will no longer be liable for any grievences against it.

    It might take some time (a century or two) to obtain a ‘declarative judgement’ of that from all the courts that might be involved in arriving at such a judgement; however, as long as the NZ Tax Payer isn’t funding the cases and appeals, (and there is no good reason why we should,) it will be of no consequence to us whatsoever.



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  11. Reid (21,595 comments) says:

    When I say seal the deal what I mean is, once all the tribes settle, the only possible future things to deal with for all of our lifetimes will be pan-Maori things like when they deploy Kirilian photography as a standard medical technique and Maori claim their own aura is a taonga which we all need to pay them for having. It’s only stuff like that, we will need to worry about.

    I mean Maori will have to stop holding out their hands. They can’t possibly argue, none of them, once the final deal is finally, but finally signed, once that has happened they have no more leg to stand on. So let’s get it over with PDQ is the only rational thing to do. It is.

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  12. RRM (12,696 comments) says:

    Here’s the shirt off my back.

    [failed attempt at ascii art, what’s wrong with WordPress?]

    I’m going to give it to the Maoris, I know how much they deserve it 🙂

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  13. scrubone (3,798 comments) says:

    Let’s see this round to it’s completion.

    Then, if the complaints start again, here’s my plan.

    Announce that in 100 years all land reverts to Maori ownership. The first 50 years allows plenty of time to work out exactly how this will work and who gets the benefits. After that pepercorn rentals start gradually being phased in.

    Thus, by the time the full rentals are paid, we’re all dead and don’t have to worry about it anymore and they’ve got the place back.

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  14. Manolo (22,377 comments) says:

    Propaganda and spin above all seem to be today’s theme.

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  15. Trouble Man (10 comments) says:

    It’s amazing how many so-called right-wingers are desperately trying to defend Stalinesque land seizures as something that shouldn’t be compensated.

    Bu-bu-bu-but Trouble Man, the Taranaki Maori Claims Settlement Act 1944 settled all those grievances! Just like the USSR paid a fair price to the kulaks!

    Collectivist scum need to be rooted out of the right, starting with the arch-Leninist Redbaiter.

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  16. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    Notice how not one commenter so far accepts that there is ever (clever little trick that innit?) going to be an end to the 19th century grievances…perhaps DPF is off studying that book I recommended to him…

    It is essential reading for anyone who wants an understanding of just why the settlements of the 40’s ought to have been an end to it all…

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  17. unpcnzcougar (52 comments) says:

    What has tipped me over in all of this is the handing of Auckland’s volcanic cones back to Maori. One Tree Hill especially irks me. Will all these mountains now become like Tarawera where you can’t freely access unless you pay someone to take you up. It is just plain wrong.

    One Tree Hill was legitimately sold and then taken by the Government. Like Cornwall Park my opinion is this belongs to the people of Auckland as was always intended.

    And then we have airwave rights and water rights. Where does it end? It doesn’t. After years of defending this country I can’t do it any more and am looking forward now to moving to the U.S.A. for a few years.

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  18. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    “Collectivist scum need to be rooted out of the right, starting with the arch-Leninist Redbaiter.”

    Hey moron, I never took anyone lands or have ever advocated that government should do that. Therefore I am not liable for it even if it happened.

    The point is these claims are uncontested. You cannot have fair trial when only the prosecution is present in the courtroom, and there is no defense case.

    The Waitiangi Tribunal is a racist crock, and putting one race’s rights as far above the rights of any or all other races is one of the basic elements of fascism. Which is why you’re all for it.

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  19. wreck1080 (5,056 comments) says:

    My opinion is that race relations are worse now than at any time in my life.

    When I was young it would be unheard of for maoris to be demanding airwaves, wind money, and ownership of the water.

    Now, there is a constant whine of maori demands — even though treaty payments are being settled you’d be deluded for thinking this is the end of maori whining.

    Maori are wedging themselves into all sorts of govt and local govt advisory roles — not official employees , but , as outside consultants where is is mandatory to consult them before doing anything business like.

    Then, the maoris up north are now saying the treaty is not binding over them.

    Its becoming nuts.

    Incidentally, Geoffrey Palmer is to blame for a lot of todays maori problems. All these hand wringing white intellectuals are causing huge problems.

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  20. John Ansell (873 comments) says:

    The surrender is going swimmingly.

    I sat in front of Finlayson at his Orewa meeting recently and asked him whether, in all the settlements he was making, he had ever paused to consider whether the iwis’ claims were justified.

    He seemed genuinely shocked that someone could think they might not be. He asked for an example of an undeserved payout.

    I cited his payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money (as part of a multimillion dollar total payment) to the Rongowhakaata descendants of Te Kooti for damage to his reputation.

    I reminded him that Te Kooti’s men were responsible for such barbaric atrocities as the tossing in the air of the three little Lavin children and impaling them on bayonets.

    I cited the payment of ten million dollars to Ngati Toa for the loss of their maritime empire – that being Te Rauparaha’s right to cross Cook Strait and butcher and eat his South Island enemies.

    At the battle of Kaiapoi, this most savage of all Maori cannibals tore open the stomach of a live pregnant woman, pulled out the embryo, roasted it on a stick and ate it.

    To my knowledge, there is no Pol Pot Ping Pong Palace in Phnom Penh. Nor is there an Adolf Hitler Memorial Synagogue in Osweicim (AKA Auschwitz).

    And yet there is a Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.

    Predictably, our pro-Griever Maori, anti-equality news media have just bestowed upon Finlayson the title of most effective minister.

    At least Neville Chamberlain had the decency to appease his neighbourhood bully by awarding him someone else’s country. Finlayson appeases the Maori thugs and conmen by awarding them his own.

    In years to come, he will be known as New Zealand’s greatest traitor, with media like the NZ Herald close behind.

    Where else in the world do the descendants of the victors in a war of rebellion pay reparations to the descendants of the rebels?

    When will one of these cowardly, complicit media poll their readers, listeners and viewers with the simple question: “Do you want a New Zealand where all citizens have equal rights, live under the one law, vote on the one roll, and have their taxes spent according to need, not race?”

    If they would do that they would find that over 80% of New Zealanders would reply with a resounding “YES!”

    And those same New Zealanders would rank Chris Finlayson least effective minister by a country mile.

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  21. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    “Maori are wedging themselves into all sorts of govt and local govt advisory roles — not official employees , but , as outside consultants where is is mandatory to consult them before doing anything business like.”

    Dead right. Their fraudulent claims to native title are a ridiculous National Party sanctioned attack on the oil exploration industry. An industry vital to the country right now.

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  22. Trouble Man (10 comments) says:

    “Hey moron, I never took anyone lands or have ever advocated that government should do that. Therefore I am not liable for it even if it happened.”

    Then why are you opposed to compensation being paid by the State when the State takes somebody’s land? Because you’re a communist, and you don’t really believe in property rights, you despicable little Red.

    Go on, call me a fascist some more, and whatever other arguments you extracted from Pravda.

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  23. Longknives (6,514 comments) says:

    John Ansell- Outstanding! Very well said. Applause from this descendant of those ‘evil colonialists’ that are being vilified in the History rewrites…

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  24. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    “Go on, call me a fascist some more,”

    No thanks, I have minimum time and prefer not to waste too much of it on pathetic and transparent trolls.

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  25. dime (13,133 comments) says:

    “I do believe that it is very important to have fair, full and final settlements over the historic grievances of the 1800s. ”

    Lol the freakin 1800s.

    We just keep paying and paying. Turn off the tap. Let them riot.

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  26. barry (1,234 comments) says:

    Oh David – you poor soul. Oh gullible you…………

    You are like a guy I heard interviewed on the radio the other day about the Ross investments scam. This investor had been burnt 4 times in a row. He had lost money in three other investments and even after loosing them , he then went and invested almost $1million with this Ross guy.
    I though “why do some people never learn?”

    Youre thinking that the Waitangi tribunal and such associated claims might ever be full and final is something akin to this guy above. Maori have NO INTENTION of ever stopping such claims. I heard one the “fouled mothed truck driver’s” minions claiming recently that they have a group of people working on new claims. They will claim for anything they can. This is why the “fouled mothed truck driver” recently announced that maori “OWN” the water. Its the basis for a claim in another 10 or 20 years time.


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  27. Griff (14,157 comments) says:

    The treaty process is one thing the review of the Constitutional is far more problematic

    Constitutional Advisory Panel Engagement strategy

    March – July 2012: Preparing the ground:- engaging with individuals, groups;
    July 2012 – November 2012: Publicly by the panel;
    December 2012 – July 2013: Thinking together – (i.e. public submissions to the review)
    August 2013 – September 2013: Deliberation (reporting to cross-party group and Ministers by 2013);
    September – December 2013: Summary / reporting.

    I for one will be submitting NO treaty anywhere near our constitution. No separate rights for any racial group in new Zealand

    Of further interest is Margaret Mutu and Moana Jackson are going around stirring the pot for a maori treaty based Constitution ahead of the official group

    Independent Iwi Constitutional
    Working Group

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  28. Longknives (6,514 comments) says:

    “This is why the “fouled mothed truck driver” recently announced that maori “OWN” the water”

    Ha! It always amuses me when the media fawns over the “Maori King”..
    This idiot is about as ‘Royal’ as my cat. (In fact, my cat is probably higher bred)

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  29. RF (2,377 comments) says:

    John Ansell. 4.33pm

    Agree with you 100 %. I have been reading old publications of NZ history…. Pre BS spin.. and have come across Native atrocities that makes Pol Pot look like a saint.

    When one watches our local news nothing has really changed.

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  30. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:


    Why the Maori-claim juggernaut is out of control

    Edited transcript of the Assignment TV Program

    (Apologies for the long post but AFAIK, its not on the web anywhere. But it really should be, and now it is.)

    ROD VAUGHAN, reporter: It’s called Young Nick’s Head and it’s a place of great historical significance for Maori and pakeha. It’s the first piece of New Zealand sighted by Captain Cook when he first came here in 1769. The imposing land mass sits at the southern end of Poverty Bay, so named by Cook because hostile Maori thwarted his attempts to get food and water. But to the descendants of those Maori this is an area of great richness that has been home to them for hundreds of years. Until the arrival of European settlers they had the exclusive use of land and waterways that saw no one go hungry. They occupied a huge estate that was the envy of colonists.

    But today tribes like Ngai Tamanuhiri have lost nearly all they once owned. They live in struggling settlements like Muriwai, which lies almost under the shadow of Young Nick’s Head. The people here could once lay claim to more than 50,000 acres of coastal land. Today they own just 17% thanks to land confiscations. Now they want the rest back.

    TU WYLLIE, Ngai Tamanuhiri: We’re claiming in the region of about 50,000 acres, land that was taken by, from our people over a period of years … 20 to 30 years in fact. Land that was taken by stealth rather than by war or conflict.

    VAUGHAN: Ngai Tamanuhiri also lost land as punishment for the actions of the region’s most famous warrior, Te Kooti. The man who went on to form the Ringatu church was exiled by the colonial government to the Chatham Islands for speaking out about land confiscations. Two years later he escaped with many others who had been condemned to a similar fate.

    TOURIST GUIDE: He commandeered a boat called the Rifleman which had gone to the Chathams to take supplies and he set off with his followers, I think about 60 of them, and they landed here.

    VAUGHAN: From there Te Kooti embarked on a bloody campaign of guerrilla warfare that was to last several years. Te Kooti was eventually pardoned but Ngai Tamanuhiri never got their land back. More than 100 years later Ngai Tamanuhiri are trying to set the record straight. Not only do they want their land back but they want their side of the story told for all to hear. The Waitangi Tribunal is helping them on both counts. The tribunal, which some had likened to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recently heard submissions from the tribe at their marae. In Gisborne the tribunal is seeking to determine the validity of often overlapping claims. By determining their whakapapa or lineage, iwi such as Ngai Tamanuhiri aim to establish their right to plots of land they held for centuries. It’s a serious business but the tone is light.

    JUDGE JOE WILLIAMS, acting chairman, Waitangi Tribunal: It’s easy enough to be a Hurricane supporter but that doesn’t get you a season ticket in the stand.

    VAUGHAN: Many iwi like Ngai Tamanuhiri have taken the tribunal out of the confines of a meeting room up mountains, into forests and on to boats. Ngai Tamanuhiri claims 35km of coastline, which will be important for lucrative fishing rights.

    NGAI TAMANUHIRI MEMBER: We are not merely the owners … we’re merely the rauhitanga, we’re the guardians. We need to make sure that all those after us get what we’re getting now.

    VAUGHAN: But righting the wrongs of history can offer big rewards.

    WYLLIE: We’re not confident and we don’t expect to get all of what we’ve claimed. We do expect that our story will be told, that we will be offered the appropriate kind of apology and that the Crown will … sit down and be flexible about what it can return.

    VAUGHAN: Getting this story told has cost Ngai Tamanuhiri a huge amount of time and money. They first lodged their claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in 1990 and have spent about half a million dollars putting it together. It’s a tortuous process that has exacted a heavy toll on all concerned. They say that justice delayed is justice denied and so it’s been for many Maori who have lodged claims with the Waitangi Tribunal. Eighty-two-year-old Rose Thompson of Ngai Tamanuhiri was no exception. After waiting 12 years to give evidence she died just three months before she was due to appear before the tribunal.

    Rose Thompson was one of Ngai Tamanuhiri’s key witnesses. Her sudden death could have dealt a serious blow to their case. But fortunately they videotaped her testimony last year and it was played to the tribunal when their claim came up for consideration. Whether Rose Thompson helps Ngai Tamanuhiri to regain their land remains to be seen. The tribunal must decide on the merits of the case and make a recommendation to the government, which then has to negotiate with the tribe. It could be several more years before an outcome is reached.

    Bottom line: there are two blocks of land the tribe would like to reclaim. The first is the Wharerata State Forest, which could give the impoverished tribe not only an asset base of some $4 million but an income of $300,000 a year.

    NGAI TAMANUHIRI MEMBER: This is not about a handout, this is simply about being given an opportunity to take responsibility for our own destiny.

    VAUGHAN: The other piece of land that Ngai Tamanuhiri would dearly like to have back is what they regard as the jewel in their Crown, Young Nick’s Head. But their chances of reclaiming this historical landmark appear doomed. Not only is it private land, putting it beyond the jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal, but the owner has just sold it to an American for an estimated $4 million.

    The sale is still subject to Overseas Investment Commission approval. There’s no way in the world the tribe could find that sort of money even for such a cultural and historic treasure.

    WYLLIE: It is the absolute jewel in the crown because Young Nick’s Head, or Te Kuri as we know it, is our equivalent to Hikurangi for Ngati Porou and Aorangi or Aoraki for Ngai Tahu. It is our mountain, it is what identifies us as an iwi and we have some real issues about what’s going to happen to it in the future.

    VAUGHAN: The story of Ngai Tamanuhiri and their quest to right the wrongs of the past is a story that’s been played out all over the country as Maori lodged hundreds of claims with the Waitangi Tribunal. When the Waitangi Tribunal was set up in 1975 it was charged with hearing grievances relating to Crown actions or omissions from that year onwards. But in 1985 the law was changed, allowing it to hear claims going back to 1840.

    It opened up a Pandora’s box of claims relating to everything from land to language, from flora to fauna. It was the beginning of what cynics have described as the grievance industry. Those critics include Dr Michael Bassett who has served on the tribunal since 1994. The former Labour cabinet minister is appalled at the time it takes to settle claims. He says part of the problem is claimants competing with each other for the same piece of land. But he believes some people are prolonging the settlement process for their own ends.

    MICHAEL BASSETT: Hundreds of people have a vested interest in slowing down this process. You’ve now got something of the order of 600 people in New Zealand who in one way or another have their career structures wrapped around the Waitangi industry. They don’t have any interest in this process coming to a close, indeed the reverse. When I joined the tribunal in 1994 the anticipated end of the historical claims was 2005, a few months later it was 2007, the next year it was 2009, then it was 2011 and it reached the dizzy heights of 2014 and I used to look at these people and think when is your anticipated or likely retirement date.

    VAUGHAN: Ngati Tama of Taranaki is yet another tribal group that has paid a high price in terms of time and money to get its claims settled. Greg White, whose grandfather and father both fought for land rights, is the group’s principal negotiator. The claim over more than 200,000 acres of land was lodged 16 years ago. Only now is it nearing finality, with the prospect of a $14 million payout not too far away. But by the time they receive that $14 million, they will have shelled out $1 million in legal fees. Greg White says the claims process has become a gravy train for lawyers.

    GREG WHITE: Well, I will give you an example if you like. We asked for a charter or constitution to be developed along the lines of the Ngai Tahu charter. They went away, came back ­ it took them four drafts just to get the word tahu or Ngai Tahu out of the document and at the end of the day they got a bill for the best part of $40,000.

    VAUGHAN: $40,000 for one word.

    WHITE: For a charter, just for a charter, and I don’t think any other business would be charged those sorts of figures.

    VAUGHAN: Two years ago the government paid out more than $4 million in legal aid to lawyers engaged on treaty claims. But this is only a fraction of the money that’s up for grabs. Another $13 million a year is handed out to claimants to research, prepare and present their claims. Donna Hall is a treaty claims lawyer. NBR’s Rich List has claimed she could have earned $10 million from such work. She looks after the largest of the volcanic interior plateau or VIP forestry claims in the North Island. The Crown Forestry Rental Trust has allocated $10 million to the various VIP claimants. There is a feeling amongst many New Zealanders though that this settlement process is little more than a gravy train for lawyers like yourself.

    DONNA HALL: Well I’m not going to talk for other lawyers. I act for one client. Like anyone if they don’t like the work I do or the fees I charge they can change me. They haven’t said they’re not happy and I do a very, a great deal of work.

    VAUGHAN: But your detractors say that you’ve made a huge amount of money out of the process, that your law firm made in the vicinity of $1 million last year out of claims.

    HALL: Oh that’s bunkum, that’s just bunkum. Let’s just start from the beginning because I refuse to have to fight the politics of envy.

    VAUGHAN: Well something like $10 million has been spent on the VIP claims so far.

    HALL: Oh I don’t agree with that. That’s absolutely not correct.

    VAUGHAN: But I come back to the point did your legal firm make $1 million last year.

    HALL: No, no.

    VAUGHAN: How much did it make.

    HALL: I’m not going to answer that but I didn’t make the $1 million.

    VAUGHAN: But essentially we’re talking about public money that you’ve received, money that’s come out of the public purse.

    HALL: Oh no, you are not talking public money. This is money that is set aside in the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

    VAUGHAN: So just what is this cash cow called the Crown Forestry Rental Trust? How much money has it got and where does it go? Next we step inside an organisation that’s been described by its critics as a slush fund accountable to no one, dispensing largesse largely on the basis of nepotism.


    VAUGHAN: They are one of New Zealand’s most important assets, 90 forests that earn this country more than $3 billion a year in export earnings. Back in 1988 the government tried to sell them as part of its asset sales programme. But Maori took the government to court, saying the land could not be sold until ownership of it was determined by the Waitangi Tribunal. As a result a deal was struck that allowed the government to sell the trees but not the land. The land was put in trust until claims could be heard by the tribunal.

    To fund those claims, rent from the forests was diverted from government coffers to the newly formed Crown Forestry Rental Trust or CFRT. It’s run by six trustees, three Maori and three appointed by the Crown. These are the current trustees: chairman Sir Graham Latimer, Professor Whatarangi Winiata, Lou Tangaere, Paul Carpinter and Maryan Street [there is one Crown vacancy]. They control assets of $300 million, assets that generate the trust revenue of more than $20 million a year.

    One of the trustees is former Labour Party president Maryan Street. Before joining the trust late last year she expressed concerns that some people saw it as a slush fund accountable to no one, dispensing largesse largely on the basis of nepotism. Six months into the job she says she has seen nothing to date to reinforce that view but adds that the value of her comments is very limited because of her newness to the position.

    But former minister of treaty negotiations Sir Douglas Graham has few kind words to say about the trust.

    SIR DOUGLAS GRAHAM: I think that it is a monstrous thing, frankly, which was created probably with the best of intentions, outlived its usefulness 10 years ago and really shouldn’t exist. But how one actually goes about cancelling it is another matter.

    VAUGHAN: The trust, which some Maori refer to as the petrol pump, was supposed to wrap up its business within a few years. But 12 years on it’s taken on a life all of its own. It employs 40 people who among other things help Maori prepare, present and negotiate their claims to forestry land. It hands out around $13 million a year to claimants. So just what has it achieved given that to date it’s spent $50 million and only helped settle two forestry claims? The trust’s chief executive, Karen Waterreus, believes it’s been a major success story.

    KAREN WATERREUS: That $50 million has enabled over 100 claimants to prepare and present their claims. It is a 10-year period, it’s only $5 million a year ­ not a lot ­ and the fact is that Maori have to do an extraordinary amount of work to have their claims heard.

    VAUGHAN: But only two forestry settlements in 12 years?

    WATERREUS: That’s enabled a third of the forest to be returned to confirmed beneficiaries. The trust is not responsible for the progress of the claims. We are responsible for assisting Maori.

    VAUGHAN: The two settlements that the trust has helped determine were part of the Ngai Tahu claim, which covered much of the South Island. But there are another 60 forests at the top end of the South Island and all over the North Island whose ownership has still to be determined [see map]. The trust, it seems, is going to be around for a long time yet.

    WATERREUS: Now we’d like to say that we could have our job done in five years but that’s going to require, I think, some strong decision making on the part of both Maori and the Crown.

    VAUGHAN: But at current rate just when are you going to have your work wrapped up? I mean are you going to be here for another 12 years?

    WATERREUS: I hope not. I hope not. We’d planned for a shorter time than that.

    VAUGHAN: The lethargic progress on settling forestry claims is causing many people to think of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust or CFRT is little more than a gravy train.

    GRAHAM: It has far too much money. It’s unfair amongst Maori people because the money can only be spent on tribes that have forestry claims and not all do. So here’s this enormous pot of gold, which is expanding all the time, available for some but not all. It’s not fair. Millions of dollars have been spent and nothing to show for it.

    VAUGHAN: Waitangi Tribunal member Michael Bassett would also like to know where some of the CFRT’s money goes.

    BASSETT: I’ve heard of one case where a rather dubious individual got a payment of about $1.9 million for what I was told was not much more than a pile of photocopying.

    VAUGHAN: So how or why is this allowed to happen?

    BASSETT: Because the CFRT is answerable to nobody. The deed that was signed initially was inadequate and when ministers, subsequently Doug Graham and Bill Birch and others, tried to get some accountability from the CFRT they were told to push off.

    VAUGHAN: There’s no transparency, no accountability?

    BASSETT: Well they have to put out a report each year but I’m bound to say, having looked at those reports, they seem to me to conceal more than they reveal.

    VAUGHAN: However, the trust’s annual reports do disclose that in the last 12 years it’s handed out $50 million to claimants. Of this Maori involved in the Central North Island Volcanic Interior Plateau claims have received more than $10 million while tribes involved in various claims in the northern part of the North Island have received almost $8 million and some in the eastern Bay of Plenty have got more than $4 million. The reports say the money is supposed to be used for the research, preparation and presentation of claims that involve or could involve Crown forestry land.

    BERNIE HARRIS, former secretary, CFRT: I have seen evidence of where certain of that money has gone and I have no hesitation in saying that that money has been spent improperly.

    VAUGHAN: Bernie Harris was secretary of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust for the first two years of its life. His concerns over where some of its money was going effectively cost him his job. He resigned in disgust after what he says were unfounded allegations that he stole a quarter of a million dollars. He says the whole matter was trumped up to get rid of him because he was asking awkward questions.

    HARRIS: Indeed, that is my very clear understanding of why I was seen to be a terribly difficult person to deal with.

    VAUGHAN: Today Bernie Harris is still asking awkward questions about the trust and where its money has gone.

    HARRIS: Over a period of 12 years I would expect $50 million to be used in a very effective and constructive way to help Maori achieve their economic destiny. It is my view that it has gone to a few Maori and I think if it was audited and open and available for an open audit it would be of an extreme embarrassment to several Maori who, quite frankly, would have to justify the terms by which they as claimants were entitled to that money.

    VAUGHAN: Well what exactly has the trust achieved since its inception 12 years ago?

    HARRIS: I believe it has looked after the interests of a few people ­ self-interest has determined what that fund is suddenly doing today.

    VAUGHAN: But Karen Waterreus who took over Bernie Harris’ job at the trust 10 years ago is adamant that the money is not falling into the wrong hands.

    WATERREUS: Well it’s nonsense ­ we spend our money properly and prudently. Anything that gets approved by the trust there has to be a thorough application process, there has to be a thorough assessment process. The money is going to assist Maori to prepare, present and negotiate their claims involving the Crown forest licence land.

    VAUGHAN: But how do you know this money is going to the right people for the right reasons? How do you know it’s not going into their back pockets to buy flash cars, flash houses, overseas holidays?

    WATERREUS: Because we monitor the funding that is provided through the trust. We ask people to account for expenditure and activities. We have staff who meet with claimants. We are certain that the trust funding is being used for the purpose for which it was intended.

    VAUGHAN: The chairman of the trust for all of its 12 turbulent years has been Sir Graham Latimer. The well known Maori leader is being held accountable for the trust’s perceived shortcomings. Do you have confidence in him.

    HARRIS: I have to say no. He has been there too long without an outcome. In the commercial field and [with] my background anyone who does not actually come out with an outcome is replaced.

    VAUGHAN: Sir Graham is a former National Party stalwart who is no stranger to controversy. In 1995 he pleaded guilty to negligently filing false tax returns involving almost $700,000. The IRD investigation discovered that nearly $80,000 had been paid into his TAB account during the period of the taxation shortfall. The episode prompted many calls for him to resign from his various positions in Maoridom. Now he’s in the firing line again over the financial affairs of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. Sir Graham was reluctant to appear on this programme. Sir Graham.

    SIR GRAHAM LATIMER: How do you do.

    VAUGHAN: How are you. Rod Vaughan. Pleased to meet you. Just wondering when we could get our interview. But he eventually agreed to give us a few minutes of his time between meetings in Wellington two weeks ago. You see, a number of people, a number of politicians we’ve spoken to say that there is a lack of accountability, a lack of transparency about the trust.

    LATIMER: Let me tell them they are liars because we report every year a fully audited balance sheet and we report to the minister and last year the minister of finance came to our evening and said that we were doing a good job.

    VAUGHAN: Well the trust seems to be spending money like there’s no tomorrow ­ $10 million in the last 12 years for the VIP claim, almost $8 million for some of the claims up north, $4 million here.

    LATIMER: You’re guessing, you’re still guessing, you have guessed three times then, you never hit the nail once.

    VAUGHAN: Well your annual report says that $10 million has been given to the VIP claim over the last 10-12 years.

    LATIMER: Well, it might have but that’s where major forestry is.

    VAUGHAN: Where has that money gone, what’s it been used for?

    LATIMER: Well go up and ask the people. But they do make their reports to us and if their reports are not satisfactory then they won’t get the grants.

    VAUGHAN: Well you were supposed to wrap up your business within two or three years ­ you’ve been going 12 years now.

    LATIMER: Well go across the road there, ask the ministers why it has taken so long to find a proper formula.

    VAUGHAN: So you blame the Crown for the delays?

    LATIMER: Of course, I do. They’re in charge, not us.

    VAUGHAN: What the future holds for Sir Graham and the Crown Forestry Rental Trust could be determined by Parliament’s Maori affairs select committee. It began investigating the trust’s affairs six months ago and hopes to finalise the inquiry within a month or so.

    How hard has it been for you to get information about exactly what the trust does with its money?

    JOHN TAMIHERE, Labour MP and Maori affairs select committee chairman: Well here’s the arguments that you run up against, eh. The argument is a) it was part of a treaty settlement process so bugger off. Now we’re the first government and the first select committee that’s got powers of inquiry to actually say, “Hey, no, it doesn’t work for us.”

    VAUGHAN: What sort of things have you been hearing about the trust? What sort of things concern you?

    TAMIHERE: I think the issue of conflict of interest ­ conflict of interest in regard to where monies have been placed. How the money has been placed through certain solicitors’ trusts accounts, the fees the chairperson of the trust and others might well be paid. The amount of consultancy fees that are paid out and to whom and why. The use of the money on anything but settling the claims from research projects to huis to parties. So all those sorts of things.

    VAUGHAN: But it’s not just the Crown Forestry Rental Trust that concerns critics of the settlement process. In a moment questions about the integrity and objectivity of the Waitangi Tribunal itself.


    VAUGHAN: There’s a lot of money at stake in the treaty settlement process. Tainui and Ngai Tahu have each received $170 million, with the possibility of more to come. In the last decade half a billion dollars has been handed over to tribes. By the time all the historical settlements are concluded it’s likely that several billion dollars of compensation will have been paid to Maori.

    With so much up for grabs it’s imperative that key players like the Waitangi Tribunal get it right. Sir Douglas Graham was National’s long serving minister of treaty negotiations. He steered major settlements like Ngai Tahu and Tainui to a successful conclusion. By and large he’s happy with the settlement process, in particular the work of the Waitangi Tribunal.

    GRAHAM: I think it’s been very successful overall. It’s given me a few sleepless nights from time to time. But it’s high quality and it enables a tribe to get its grievance out into the open and record it for posterity and it’s very important. Its reports are of high quality, I think, generally speaking.

    VAUGHAN: Ironically Sir Douglas’ confidence in the settlement process is not shared by a member of the Waitangi Tribunal itself. Dr Michael Bassett, who has been on the tribunal since 1994, has concerns about how the tribunal was run during Judge Eddie Durie’s long tenure as chairman.

    BASSETT: We had at least two full conferences of all the members where the chairman didn’t show up at all to any of the actual meetings. I don’t think we have had any tribunal meeting since 1994 where the chairman has been there all the time and we’re now in a situation where for the last three years we’ve had an acting chairman. I mean give me a break.

    VAUGHAN: Michael Bassett is also critical of some of the tribunal’s findings, especially one that Eddie Durie signed off relating to land confiscations in Taranaki.

    BASSETT: I mean it’s an extravagantly written report. A lot of very tendentious words [are] used in it but it is the report which uses the word holocaust and it compares what happened with the holocaust in Europe. That single use of a word kicked the standing of the Waitangi Tribunal down about three flights of stairs.

    VAUGHAN: That report caused Michael Bassett to question the objectivity of the tribunal and the credibility of the whole settlement process.

    BASSETT: But it is true that there are a lot of agendas at the tribunal and the dominant one is a feeling that one detects quite early in the piece that the staff are there on behalf of the claimants rather than making an historical judgement that will come to the truth.

    But there is none of that, I’m afraid. That balance is missing and what worries me is that to many people just simply start from the assumption that Maori are always going to be right and the settlers, the early settlers in New Zealand who benefited from the land, are always wrong. That worries me because while it’s true some of the time it ain’t true all of the time.

    VAUGHAN: Perhaps the most controversial episode in the tribunal’s history relates to claims made by Buddy Mikaere who used to be its director. Back in 1990 he became concerned that Judge Durie might be providing advice to claimants appearing before him. He says he found legal briefs prepared by the judge on a tribunal computer. They related to a land claim being prepared by a law firm whose principals included the judge’s wife, Donna Hall.

    BUDDY MIKAERE: Well I found some legal brief which appeared to have been prepared by the judge on one of the tribunal computers ­ that’s true. I pointed out to him that I thought this might be a little unwise and that maybe he should ­ well, I couldn’t say one way or the other that he had done it but I just pointed out the impropriety perhaps of that and perhaps he should rethink whatever relationship he might have with his wife’s law firm at the time.

    VAUGHAN: So on the face of it there was a clear cut conflict of interest on his part?

    MIKAERE: Well to me there appeared to be a conflict of interest but again, you know, it’s very hard to say that definitely, you know, there’s no signatures or handwriting on the computer screen.

    VAUGHAN: Buddy Mikaere says he sent a memo to Judge Durie warning him of the impropriety of such material being prepared within the offices of the tribunal. He went on to say: “I am not in a position to tell you what to do but I will protect the mana of the tribunal. May I respectfully advise you to rethink your situation and your relationship with the firm.”

    Buddy Mikaere says that Eddie Durie did not reply to the memo but two years later in 1992 further allegations that Judge Durie and some other members of the Waitangi Tribunal had provided advice to claimants appearing before them were investigated by a retired High Court judge, Sir Peter Quilliam. Sir Peter dismissed the allegation but in essence reminded all concerned of the absolute need to adhere to the perception and appearance of judicial independence, integrity and impartiality. Sir Douglas Graham, who as attorney-general ordered that inquiry, says Eddie Durie did no wrong.

    GRAHAM: Yes and I spent a great deal of time on that and there was not one iota of truth in it.

    VAUGHAN: So you had every confidence in him.

    GRAHAM: Every confidence, a man of absolute integrity.

    VAUGHAN: Today Eddie Durie is a High Court judge and he is still nominally chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal. He declined to appear on Assignment and answer questions about his chairmanship of the tribunal but four years ago when he was appointed to the High Court he was asked how it would affect his professional relationship with his wife, Donna Hall.

    EDDIE DURIE: It makes it helpful in some respects but it, what it means is a very careful management of one’s affairs so that there isn’t a crossover.

    VAUGHAN: Today Donna Hall denies any wrongdoing on his part in connection with her law firm.

    HALL: Oh there have been inquiries on that, many inquiries. They have been found to go nowhere and you’re raising it here.

    VAUGHAN: Well is there any substance to those?

    HALL: There is none.

    VAUGHAN: Well Buddy Mikaere as you know was director of the tribunal says he …

    HALL: Wasn’t he dismissed, wasn’t he put off with a big cloud over him? What I do know is that Buddy Mikaere had an incompetence problem which was identified very early in the piece. He had a very bad conflict problem going with my husband.

    VAUGHAN: Are you saying that Mr Mikaere made all of this up.

    HALL: I am saying that Buddy Mikaere is a psychopathic liar.

    VAUGHAN: For his part Buddy Mikaere seems unfazed by Donna Hall’s attack on his integrity which was made after we had interviewed him. He says he stands by everything he told us. He denies he’s a psychopathic liar and says that if this is what Ms Hall thinks of him then good luck to her. He also denies that he left the tribunal under a cloud. He says he left of his own free will to advance his career. This episode will be long debated but for now there’s another issue that’s ringing alarm bells around the country: has a cosy club of influential and powerful Maori captured the treaty industry?


    VAUGHAN: The Maori renaissance that is now sweeping through New Zealand can be traced back to the 1970s. They were turbulent years marked by all manner of protests by militant activists. The Bastion Point occupation was a defining moment in their campaign to get the government to honour the Treaty of Waitangi, a treaty that had been largely ignored by successive governments since it was signed in 1840.

    JOE HAWKE, Ngati Whatua: It will show the world the plight in which our Maori people in Aotearoa have been subject to.

    VAUGHAN: Some of the Maori activists like Joe Hawke are now part of the political establishment. Others have become key players in the treaty settlement process. As a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, Michael Bassett supports attempts to put right the wrongs of the past but believes it’s getting out of hand.

    BASSETT: Because the situation has come about where most of the agitators of the ’70s and the ’80s have in one way, shape or form managed to get on the settlement gravy train, are part of the Waitangi industry, and a government will challenge that at its peril. I mean all that will happen is that they will be labelled racist, they will be Maori-bashing, these favourite words that crop up every time when somebody questions anything that is done and before you know where you are the government ­ whatever it is, National or Labour ­ retreats back into its shell and thinks, “Oh, you know, at least they’re busy out there.”

    And in the end I keep asking myself, because I was a member of that cabinet that passed the legislation for the Waitangi Tribunal to do the historical research, is the goal which the ministers had at that time and is the research the legislation that was passed furthering the cause that we had. And the answer I have to say is at a snail’s pace, very, very expensive with an awful lot of people who are thoroughly undeserving making a lot of money on the way.

    VAUGHAN: Which begs an important question about Maoridom. Is there now a cosy club of powerful and influential Maori who are making a lot of money out of the treaty settlement process at the expense of ordinary Maori? Some Maori like the former secretary of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust Bernie Harris are in no doubt about this but he believes the group extends to a wider circle of Maori intellectuals who want everything to do with the settlement process to be on their terms.

    HARRIS: In the Maori world there is a thing called the Maori mafia. That is the cosy club that you’re referring to. It is the Maori mafia ­ those groups of people who for their own interests can subdue activities by certain Maori, who use the quiet threat, and those who don’t have the confidence to stare them between the eyes and face them down. That is the cosy little club I think you’re referring to.

    VAUGHAN: So there’s a Maori mafia running this process. Just how big a mafia?

    HARRIS: It’s only a few, as you say, but the mafia, I think, was only a few.

    VAUGHAN: Is there a powerful influential Maori elite who, if you like, have captured the process?

    HALL: I have already said I can’t and will not justify the politics of envy.

    VAUGHAN: Well Bernie Harris who is well known to you talks of a Maori mafia who have taken over the claims process.

    HALL: Well Bernie Harris is, that’s a very large statement to make and if that’s what he wants to say then that’s what he wants to say. I’m not aware that Bernie is an authority in too many things in this area. What can I say. Bernie Harris makes these sorts of large statements, you know, a wholly sad individual.

    VAUGHAN: Meanwhile, the settlement process chugs along with a new man at the helm. Judge Joe Williams is a former treaty lawyer who has been acting chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal for the last two years. He’s determined to speed things up.

    WILLIAMS: Under the old process of tribunal hearings it would take anything from seven to nine years from the time at which the first research sod was turned, if you like, to the time in which a report was produced. We have reduced that to about three-and-a-half years and we’ve reduced the number of hearings by about two-thirds. In order to do that we’ve had to throw a lot of resources at the front end of the inquiry process in what we call the new approach. That’s been cash-sapping.

    VAUGHAN: So cash-sapping in fact that last year Judge Williams wrote a memo to the government warning of a cash blowout in the tribunal unless more money was forthcoming. The tribunal’s budget of $5.6 million a year is less than what many claimants have received from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to research and prepare their claims.

    WILLIAMS: Well, I am learning about this budget process. I don’t have any experience in the bureaucracy at all but I’m told that we will find out around May or June whether the money has been made available or not.

    VAUGHAN: The extra money could mean the difference between the tribunal wrapping up its current work within five years or another 12 years. But some argue it’s pointless throwing more public money to a claims process that is already awash with cash. They say the solution to the tribunal’s financial woes is to divert money from the resource-rich Crown Forestry Rental Trust, or CFRT, which was specifically set up to finance some treaty claims.

    BASSETT: They have now got assets of $300 million plus and that’s more money than we envisaged when the CFRT was set up by way of annual budget than we could have imagined. So I think that some of that money ought to go straight across to the tribunal and the tribunal should be able to hear cases more rapidly. You really have to ask yourself is this whole process geared to helping ordinary Maori have a satisfaction on their claim or is it actually for the providers of the process?

    VAUGHAN: Whether the Waitangi Tribunal gets any more funding is far from clear. But one thing is certain. It’s going to be around for a long, long time yet. That’s because the government considers the Treaty of Waitangi to be a living document, which means that when the tribunal hears the last of the historical grievances, whenever that may be, there will still be countless contemporary claims on all matter of things to consider.

    MARGARET WILSON, treaty negotiations minister: The treaty has been characterised as being part of historical grievances that you can throw a lot of money at and that they will all go away, whereas I think what has been recognised, certainly by Maori and many pakeha Europeans, is that it’s a living document and that it’s about the development of a relationship, of which the settlement of historical grievance is one aspect. But it lives beyond that and I guess that’s what you say when you’ve got an ongoing relationship.

    VAUGHAN: But if the treaty is a living document, potentially there will be no end to the number and type of claims coming up.

    WILSON: Well there’s no end in one sense to the type of differences that happen with any society and any community, to be honest.

    VAUGHAN: So the grievance industry and its many highly paid players are destined to become a permanent feature of life for New Zealand. Those who thought the claims process would end with the settlement of historical claims like Ngai Tamanuhiri in Gisborne are in for a shock. So-called contemporary claims are now the name of the game, a game which seems set to be an ongoing burden on the public purse.

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  31. Martin Gibson (255 comments) says:

    I will read through your marathon post once I get home again tonight — it interests me because I live in Turanganui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne).

    Here is an editorial I wrote for The Gisborne Herald in May 2010 after Tuhoe were not given back the Ureweras. To the best of my knowledge I was the only journalist who made some of these points. I even coined a wise Maori saying at the end.

    After dinner-joke furore settles, social tensions remain well fed

    Prime Minister John Key was unfair to dash Tuhoe expectations of getting Te Urewera back, then joke — to Ngati Porou — that Tuhoe wanted to eat him.
    Outrage on one side and insistence it was a joke on the other reveal the race relations cable jam that keeps jerking us back from a prosperous, harmonious future together.
    Sound-bite journalism only adds to the tension in this tangle.
    If more time was spent telling the history behind Tuhoe claims, and less time flashing images of fierce Tuhoe haka at “heartland” voters Mr Key is anxious to please, they wouldn’t resent the eturn of unlawfully-taken land — these people want a justice system weighted less in favour of the offender and more in favour of the victim, after all.
    Taxpayers, including Maori, cannot be blamed for feeling isolated from the Treaty claims process. Anger and ignorance must give way to a sober national discussion of how this country will be once the lawyers’ bills are paid.
    Men whose machinations separated Maori from their land lie greasy in their graves. Talk of settling with the “Crown”, thinly disguises that taxpayers fund the show. Naturally they want to pay once, and to good effect.
    Hostility to any suggestion other iwi should apologise for fighting with the Crown against Tuhoe highlights an uneven allocation of historical guilt.
    There are also plenty of hapu that won’t get Treaty settlements because they didn’t survive the Musket Wars, where Hone Harawira’s Ngapuhi forebears ironically did more raping and murdering than any Pakeha settlers or soldiers.
    Non-Maori would be more accepting of settlement and redress if their willingness to pay for both were acknowledged and if there was an end in sight to grievance.
    It is impossible to put right all of the injustice of the past.
    Kore rawa matou i kai ki te kai e o matou tipuna ma te kai.
    We can never eat enough to feed hungry ancestors.

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  32. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    So we have one (new) commenter claiming the amounts paid in the 40’s settlements weren’t enough…I researched this question 20 years ago…I discovered that at that time a partner in a law firm got perhaps 800 pounds a year (today, perhaps 3-400,000) and that at 6000 pounds per year “in each and every year”, which is what “the Crown” was required to pay – and did into the 90’s – that was slightly less than 10 times that sum, ergo about 2-3 million dollars in today’s money.

    Michael King’s book (recommended to me by the Tainui’s then lawyer remember) also reveals that had the Mahutas not been in charge in the 40’s – as they still are – most of the rural Waikato would be in Maori hands now. The reason is this – a faction opposed to the Mahutas wished the annual settlement monies to be put in a special account, with the funds to be used for only two purposes. The first was to purchase every good farm that came on the market, the second was to fund scholarships to university for iwi youth. They were shouted down by the Mahuta faction, who wanted to control the dough themselves.

    Oh, and the settlement also included a one off payment of 600 pounds (or perhaps $250,000 in today’s money) to King Koroki “for his personal use”…sound familiar?

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  33. Manolo (22,377 comments) says:

    Well, well, well. Only Maori elites and lawyers benefit from these monumental payouts, which help to perpetuate the very same parasitic groups.

    That tree-hugging, guilt-ridden academics and do-gooders are keen to pay endless money to primitive tribes doesn’t surprise in the slightest. But it’s shameful to see today’s piss-weak National Party “leaders” stooping and going along with these scams.

    Neville Key and Finlayson will be harshly judged by history,

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  34. tristanb (1,136 comments) says:

    In 2007, Microsoft revealed it was working on an important change to MS Office. People weren’t sure why they were doing it, and who would need such a feature. But Microsoft knew better.

    And now, finally, at long last, we know the true reason Excel increased the maximum number of spreadsheet rows from 65,536 to over one million.

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  35. Tauhei Notts (2,400 comments) says:

    One hundred separate claims!
    This list must be read by every person that wants to immigrate to New Zealand.
    And we must all express our thanks to Mr Farrar for bringing this rort to our attention. A rort of incredible size.
    This Waitangi Industry must be bigger than any industry north of Auckland.
    It is mind boggling.

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  36. mikenmild (24,116 comments) says:

    Finlayson deserves a lot of credit for pushing along the settlement process which, as DPF correctly observes, is overwhelmingly supported by our representatives in Parliament. Apart from trying to portray progress in the area in partisan terms and, to be fair, DPF is simply incapable of looking at things without his National-tinted spectacles on, this was an illuminating post for me, as it shows how far the Kiwiblog flock are outside the mainstream of reasoned opinion. Even DPF doesn’t dog whistle on this topic, yet the curs come running nevertheless, salivating in a most unattractive manner.

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  37. orewa1 (430 comments) says:

    A great illustration of the difference between working in the private sector, and working in government.

    In the private sector you get famous if you earn lots of money.

    In government, you get famous if you give away lots of other people’s money.

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  38. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    Head down to your local pub Mikey (that’s a place where people gather for a drink and chat about issues of the day… thery are not there primarily to “hook up”; its not a trendy bar down at the waterfront; they don’t sell latte (they might not know what it is); and the wine might be from a box…. Try out your theories about where “mainstream reasoned opinion” lies down there….

    Actually don’t restrict yourself to your local (if there is one); pick any pub in the country…Good luck

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  39. mikenmild (24,116 comments) says:

    Oh yes, pub talk – how could I overlook such a valuable barometer of public opinion. Yes, people do grumble about aspects of treaty settlements and some of the more ridiculous aspects. They grumble about a lot of other things too without ever doing anything to upset the status quo. That’s just life in a small, conservative country.

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  40. RandySavage (223 comments) says:

    Ansell is a moron

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  41. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    Whereas you Randy are an erudite anonymous commenter on a blog…excellent!

    Mikey: Fair dos…forget pubs, try your “thesis” down the cafes on Ponsonby Road…you wont of course, but I’d bet you’d get a very similar result…along as they could all stay anonymous of course…like you….

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  42. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:


    Sentence 1: “yet the curs come running nevertheless, salivating in a most unattractive manner.” (outside of mainstream opinion)

    Sentence 2: “That’s just life in a small, conservative country.”

    Garret, these self contradictory Marxist morons are honestly not worth a skerrick of intellectual effort.

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  43. mikenmild (24,116 comments) says:

    Sorry David, Ponsonby Road is far out of my way. We have a very good system for exerting anonymous political pressure – it is the secret ballot and has been around for quite a while. To check your theory about widespread discontent though, just set up a political party with your mate Ansell and find out just how numerous those chatterers in cafes or bars are as a percentage of the population.

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  44. Mike Butler (1 comment) says:

    David, you wrote “that it is very important to have fair, full and final settlements over the historic grievances of the 1800s. Getting these settled will allow most Iwi to focus on the future, rather than past grievances. Ngai Tahi is a great example of that.”

    Starting with Ngai Tahu. The only area this tribe shines in is in getting multiple payouts from the government, and they are still going. Their 1997 “full and final” settlement of $170-million will be continually topped up until the last historical claim is settled, and the top-ups may continue for 20 years.

    Did you know David, that Ngai Tahu sold most of the South Island before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, and sold it all over again to the British government.

    Ngai Tahu’s five settlements that go back to 1868 stem from a single dispute over some boundaries and reserves in the 1848 Kemp purchase. That was ONE DISPUTE.

    That dispute has been parlayed into settlements in 1868, 1906, 1944, 1973, and 1997 and they are still going.

    Next, what are the grievances. Did you know that in 1886 chiefs took nine grievances, yes JUST NINE GRIEVANCES, to Queen Victoria, yet when Geoffrey Palmer’s government enabled investigation of claims back to 1840, a total of 2034 claims came in.

    How were those 2034 claims suddenly conjured up? Easy. Write a grievance on a sheet of paper, put your name, address, tribe, and fax it in. The Waitangi Tribunal will write it up for you and sooner or later the funds will come your way.

    David, the treaty settlement process is just a huge rort, and you, and the party you do back flips to support, cannot see it.

    Claimants know the grievances are nothing. They are just putting in claims because they know they will get something.

    The problem is, David, that you do not yet realise that you and your party are being taken for a ride.

    Will “getting these settled allow most Iwi to focus on the future”? I think we have all seen in the water rights claim and the upcoming spectrum claim how the tribes see the future.

    It appears they see that there is just a whole lot more to claim. Can you see that these claims are baseless?

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  45. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    It’s not often I agree with Russell…Arguing this is a complete waste of time…history has been re-written so that the 1940’s settlements were for “modest amounts” (Wikipedia)….$2 million in today’s terms, ever year forever. That’s what Peter Fraser signed up for with Princess Te Puea in 1944…If anyone is interested, read King’s book on how she and her senior advisers reacted when offered far more than they had expected….

    I will paraphrase, since I dont have the book to hand “When Te Puea heard Fraser’s offer she was so surprised by its generosity she urged [her senior negotiator] to his feet to accept, before Fraser could change his mind”. Yep, modest amounts, negotiated with the wrong people

    No, on second thoughts, don’t bother reading Te Puea…once history starts to be re-written, actually reading it becomes a silly waste of time.

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  46. kowtow (13,441 comments) says:

    Full and final,yeah right.

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  47. mikenmild (24,116 comments) says:

    It’s nice that you have read King’s biography of Te Puea, David: it’s an important book and it certainly told me much about the King Movement. But I shouldn’t draw too many conclusions for today’s policies from one work that is, peripherally, about the 1940s Tainui settlement.
    May I suggest that you are falling into the Ansell way of thinking – combing sources for evidence that backs your already firm assumptions? That way lies some of the madness already evidenced in this thread, for example, the suggestion that Te Rauparaha’s crimes are comparable with those of Pol Pot.

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  48. David Garrett (11,134 comments) says:

    Mikey: You are wrong about my motives. Twenty years ago I was a newly minted lawyer, albeit ten years older than my peers. It was the time of the second “full and final” Tainui settlement. I became aware of the settlements of the 40’s, and looked up the old Acts which enshrined them…It was immediately apparent that they were intended by both sides to be full and final.

    I wanted to get “the other side”, which simply dismissed them as settlements with the wrong people for trifling amounts. So I rang Denese Henare who was then the lawyer for Tainui and asked where I could learn more about these “trifling” settlements made with the wrong people, and why that was so. It was she who recommended Te Puea as the best source on the raupatu settlements. So, not “trawling” for favourable evidence at all – it was given to me.

    You can say what you like about Ansell; his approach is not mine. But the evidence for the claims he makes is all easily found in contemporary sources. But why am I wasting my time writing to a blinkered leftie on a dead thread?

    PS: Re hyperbolic comparisons with Pol Pot…similar to claims that the 2000 dead Maori in the NZ wars was comparable with the holocaust?

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  49. nzpaul (1 comment) says:

    Went to a session at the Northern Club several weeks ago in which lead Counsel for the Crown Kieran Raftery explained in detail the current position re Treaty Claims and in particular the Crown’s position on Water Claims. Was a very interesting and balanced perspective and quite revealing. The take out points of real significance below:

    1. The current number of Claims awaiting consideration and decisions by the Waitangi Tribunal is in excess of 2000 claims.
    2. KR noted that the process of settling these claims is significant and lengthy giving an example of a Northland Claim that was filed in 85, determined by the Tribunal in 94-95 and is only now being finalised by the Crown in 2012, some 27 years later. Each claim requires an act of parliament to be passed in order to give effect to the claim resolution. Hence each claim is protracted and time consuming.
    3. While historical claims had a cut off date of September 2008, this does not preclude these claims being subsequently modified. But in essence no new historical claims dating from 1840 onward can be considered.
    4. That said Maori are not limited or restrained from making future Treaty claims known as “contemporary claims’ if they feel the Crown is in breach of the Treaty in any way. They as has been the case for the Claim for Wind can make any number of broad claims if they believe the Crown is in breach of any aspect of the Treaty both presently and into the future. I took this to mean there is no conceievable end to treaty claims in the future albeit the settlements are supposed to be full and final so this will undermine the legitimacy of future claims somewhat.
    5. In terms of the water claims only 10% of the claims of some 100 nationwide have been advanced as examples of Maori rights and interests in freshwater. The remainder will be heard at a second stage of Hearings at a future date.
    6. As each claim is in effect unique the process should protracted and lengthy.

    From my own personal standpoint I suspect in terms of point 4, the number and legitimacy of any claims going forward will depend to what extent the Treaty is written into NZ’s constitution which is presently under review as we speak. Hope this provides some clarity as this was coming from a Crown Solicitor.

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  50. John Ansell (873 comments) says:

    mikenmild: you know full well that I compared Te Rauparaha with Pol Pot only in the sense that societies do not normally name stadia after mass murderers.

    Yet you inflate my remark to imply that I am comparing the scale of the two murderers’ atrocities.

    It is quite possible to compare two historical figures in one respect only, and you know that is what I was doing.

    Your comment, therefore, says more about you than me.

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  51. RRM (12,696 comments) says:

    Te Rauparaha’s crimes would have seemed pretty bloody comparable to Pol Pot’s – from the perspective of that woman at kaiapoi who had her unborn baby cut out of her and roasted over a fire.

    So yes it is disgusting that he’s being turned into a local folk hero in Porirua…

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  52. mikenmild (24,116 comments) says:

    It is an interesting point about comparing Te Rauparaha with Pol Pot though. Firstly – naming stadia after mass murderers. I’m going to assume you people would be outraged if the Belgians named anything after Leopold II, or the English after Winston Churchill, even. When you get into that kind of relativity, you will quickly become very confused. But if you are disgusted with Te Rauparaha, by all means refuse to go to that particular civic facility. On the same principle, don’t ever go to see basketball at the Walter Nash stadium in Lower Hutt lest your attendance be taken as approval of a notable New Zealand socialist.

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  53. John Ansell (873 comments) says:

    Now you’re really struggling, mike. I suggest you stop digging.

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  54. Joseph Carpenter (215 comments) says:

    The fact is there will NEVER be full and final settlements.
    Read the Limitations Act 1906, 1950 & 2010 – the law of the land simply just does not apply to the “special people”. Even the greedy old Crown only gave itself 60 years as a long backstop claim in respect of land (12 years absolute max for us ordinary NZ citizens).

    So much for Principle-2 of the famed principles of the ToW or indeed any notions of justice or equity or fairness in the Western tradition – it’s very clear in literally black and white there is one law for the citizens of NZ and entirely separate laws for the special ones.

    And DPF when you get the figures for the settlements – make sure they include not just the value of cash/assets given but also the value of the land given and the value of the rental for the land. Many people don’t realise that many Iwi own the local schools, Police stations, hospitals, Social Welfare office blocks, reserves, etc in fact all sorts of former Crown land and buildings and that the Crown leases them back from the local Iwi, usually on very sweet terms. In fact the last I heard several years ago it was costing the taxpayers $470 million per year for these leases and they had to regularly fight with the local Iwi incorporation to get them to provide the most basic of things a normal commercial landlord would have to provide like a non-leaking building or working toilets. In fact usually the government property managers just give up and pay for it themselves AND still pay the full whack of rent rather than go up against the special people. In fact I hear there is a big stink about just this now in Christchurch as the special ones have to confront the new costs of all the property they own in these leaseback arrangements, it looks like government will buckle despite having unlimited Czar powers and pay for the work to property they don’t own or will send their staff and the public back into buildings with known risks.

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  55. Joseph Carpenter (215 comments) says:

    Also forgot to mention the Limitation Act obviously violates Clause-3 of the ToW yet you never hear the special ones going on about that blatant breach, the ToW is more flexible than the Bible.

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  56. mikenmild (24,116 comments) says:

    Well John, you are the one that likes to bring up the savagery of nineteenth century Maori life as if it has some kind of relevance to today’s treaty settlements. Excuse me for pointing out the absurdity of that aspect of your diatribes.

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  57. mikenmild (24,116 comments) says:

    Joseph Carpenter
    There is quite a lot of sense to those criticisms. It would be a useful exercise to cost out all of those expenses as it seems only fair to calculate the price of rectifying injustices.

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