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 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
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.

Do they have tape measures with them?

March 25th, 2011 at 12:19 pm by David Farrar

The next two candidares on Labour’s list are Judith Tizard and Mark Burton. If a Labour List MP resigns before the election, then they will be offered their place in Parliament.

Judith Tizard is Auckland based and Mark Burton lives in Taupo.

So is it just a coincidence that Judith Tizard was seen on a flight to Wellington yesterday afternoon, and Mark Burton was seen on Lambton Quay late this morning?

The Central North Island Seats

November 13th, 2008 at 12:15 am by David Farrar

Oh I do like that solid blue look. And in 2002 only a handful were blue.

Hunua is a new seat. The party vote is another 60:20 type solid seat. On the electorate vote Paul Hutchison narrowly beat Jordan Carter by 14,738 votes and Roger Douglas another 2,700 votes behind Jordan.

Waikato is 58% to 22% on the party vote. And Lindsay Tisch drove his majority from 7,000 to almost 12,000.

Coromandel went from 45% to 31% up to 51% to 26%. And Sandra Goudie scored a 13,400 majority for the seat she won in 2005.

The two Hamilton seats are no longer marginal weathervanes. Hamilton East went from a 9% party vote lead for National to a 19% lead. And David Bennett turned a 5,300 majority into one of over 8.000. Hamilton West saw an 11% lead in the party vote for National after being 2% behind in 2005. And Tim Macindoe turned his 1,100 loss in 2005 to a 1,500 victory in 2008.

Bay of Plenty is another 60:20 seat on the party vote. and Tony Ryall got a massive 16,500 majority up from 11,000 in 2005.

In 2005 in Tauranga, National had a 15% lead in the party vote. In 2008 the lead was 32%. Bob Clarkson beat Winston Peters by 730 votes in 2005. This time Simon Bridges beat him by 10,700. Simon will be happy to be the Member of Tauranga for some time.

Rotorua saw National lift the party vote from 43% to 51%, and Todd McClay scored a majority of almost 5,000 over a sitting Minister.

Taupo saw a party vote victory of 15% and Louise Upston beat Mark Burton by almost 6,000 votes. She ran a good campaign and for a big enough majority to make it safe for National. Burton got 2300 more votes than Labour so even harder for any future Labour candidate.  I also heard a rumour that Louise held the first meeting of her 2011 campaign committee at 8.15 am on Sunday morning 🙂

The East Coast had a 15% lead in the party vote (the graphic has it wrong) and on the electorate vote Anne Tolley turned a 2,500 majority into a 6,000 majority.

The growing seat of Napier saw National go from a 1% lead in the party vote to a 12% lead. And Chris Tremain drove his 3,300 victory over Russell Fairbrother in 2005 to a 8,400 margin. Remember this is a seat Labour held for all but three years from 1928 to 2005 and Tremain is building John Carter or Nick Smith type majorities as a brilliant local MP who owns his seat.

Over on the west coast, we have the huge Taranaki-King Country seat which is another of those lovely 60:20 seats.  And the 12,000 majority motors up to 14,500.

Finally we have New Plymouth. National was ahead on the party vote last time by 8% and this time it was 20%. And it was too much for Harry Duynhoven who lost the seat by 300 votes. In 2005 he held it by almost 5,000 votes and in 2002 his majority was a staggering 15,000. New candidate Jonathan Young will be watching the special votes though.

Labour will struggle to form a Government again, while so many seats have them getting just 1 in 5 party votes. Every seat in this region had at least an 11% gap in the party vote, with many having a 40% gap.

Repeal the Electoral Finance Act

May 24th, 2008 at 11:12 am by David Farrar

One of the opponents of the Electoral Finance Act died yesterday – Grey Power President Graham Stairmand. My condolences to those who knew him – I had not had the pleasure.

On the same day a dedicated group of around 40 anti EFA protesters led by John Boscawen protested outside the venue for Helen Clark’s post-budget speech. Not PC has photos.

Neither of these are reasons why the EFA should be repealed. The ultimate proof of the stupidity and far reaching effects of the Electoral Finance Act comes in this story by Audrey Young.

All references to a “Labour-led Government” were deleted from the Government’s press releases on the Budget for fear of breaching the Electoral Finance Act.

People laughed and jeered at me when I said that the law was so bad it even included press releases, but it does. It is the height of stupidity that one can not even refer to the name of the major party in power in a press release.

Labour should just admit they fucked up, and it is a stupid law. It is probably going to stop their biggest ally from running the campaign they want, and it stops them even mentioning their party’s name in press releases.

“We were advised that the use of the term ‘Labour-led’ in the Government releases could be seen as coming under the Electoral Finance Act and obviously that would not be appropriate because they were Government publications, not Labour Party publications.”

That is a quote from Michael Cullen. Bet he would like to give Mark Burton and Annette King the bash.

It believed the term could be seen as promoting Labour and could therefore meet the new definition of election advertisement under the act.

That would have meant that the material should have been authorised by Labour’s general secretary and financial agent, Mike Smith, and possible prosecution of the Secretary of Treasury, John Whitehead, because Government departments are banned from publishing election advertisements.


Dr Cullen’s own Budget speech contained the term twice but he said he had received advice that because it was a speech in Parliament, parliamentary privilege applied.

It gets even more insane. If it were not for parliamentary privilege, then speeches in Parliament might be illegal election advertisements.

I’m serious. It is time to repeal the law. If it is not repealed before the election there will be court cases galore. Electorate MPs will be fighting off electoral petitions for months and months. By-elections may change the result of the election.

Some may claim that no one thought the law would end up being this far reaching. That is not true. There were warnings and warnings. Submissions were made. Protests were organised. It was all predictable. The Government even gave up trying to defend it and retreated behind their “law of common sense”.

Someone should go ask Annette King how common sense required budget press releases to not mention the name of the major party in Government. You can mention it in 2009 and 2010 but not in 2008 or 2011 as they are election years. You could not get more absurd.

If they will not repeal the law, a compromise would be to return the regulated period to 90 days. This would allow MPs to actually mention the name of their party in press releases for most of the year!