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 Treaty Negotiations Ministers. I’ve colour coded the table below to show them. They are:
- Doug Graham 1991 – 1999 in light blue.
- Margaret Wilson 2000 – 2004 in red
- Mark Burton 2005 – 2007 in light brown
- Michael Cullen in 2008 in dark brown
- Chris Finlayson from 2009 – 2012 in darker blue