South Island settlements now complete!

Chris Finlayson has announced:

Today’s signing between the Crown Ngāti Tama ki Te Tau Ihu at Onetahua Marae in Golden Bay marks the final deed of settlement for historical claims in the South Island, Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson announced.

“This government is committed to resolving all historical Treaty grievances, and so it is a monumental occasion as we sign the last outstanding deed of settlement for historical claims in the South Island,” Mr Finlayson said.

This is the 62nd deed of settlement signed by the Crown since 1990. It is the 36th to have been signed since November 2008.

“This government is committed to just and durable settlements of these grievances in a timely fashion,” he said. “We have increased the rate at which settlements are being reached, so that full and final resolution of these issues is accomplished sooner for the benefit of Māori and all New Zealanders.” …

“Over the past four years the completion of all historical settlements has gone from being a vanishing point constantly beyond the horizon, to being recognized as an achievable goal that is now well advanced,” Mr Finlayson said.

The only major area which has a settlement yet to progess is in Northland, where Iwi find it difficult to agree on who does the negotiation.

Over around 25 years, the settlements will total around $1.5 billion. That is not a huge amount of money considering the Government is spending around $70 billion a year.

I expect the final historical settlement to occur in this decade. That will be a very good thing. Many Iwi such as Ngai Tahi have gone from grievance mode to achievement mode.

The completion of historical settlements will not mean an end to Treaty issues. There will still be arguments over resource consent issues, water rights, airwaves and the like. You can’t pass a law saying people are not allowed to argue!

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