The New Zealand Herald

$35m in Treaty top-ups

- Isaac Davison

The Government has topped up Ngai Tahu and Waikato-Tainui’s Treaty settlement­s by $35 million to bring them into line with other agreements.

Treaty Negotiatio­ns Minister Andrew Little said the payments ensured the value of the two iwis’ settlement­s maintained their relative size compared with all other Treaty settlement­s.

Ngai Tahu, which settled with the Crown in 1998, received a further $18.7m and Waikato Tainui, which settled in 1995, received a further $16.6m. That is on top of separate topups worth a total of $370m last year.

“This process is about maintainin­g the agreed relativity between the settlement­s agreed with WaikatoTai­nui and Ngai Tahu and the total value of all historical Treaty settlement­s,” Little said.

“That was the undertakin­g made by the Crown in 1995 and 1997 when these settlement­s were reached, and we must honour it.”

He added: “It’s important to get these payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngai Tahu right. The Crown is committed to honouring the contractua­l nature of the relativity mechanism clauses.”

Both iwis’ settlement­s include relativity clauses which ensure they do not diminish in relative value. They can apply every five years to check whether the settlement­s are still worth 17 per cent (Waikato) and 16 per cent (Ngai Tahu) of the total value of all settlement­s.

Little said there could be further top-ups as other iwi settled their agreements.

“There is more to come. It’s hard to say, we’ve got roughly 50 settlement­s left to go, including Ngapuhi, which is the big one.

“But that is the intention over the next three years, to get all those 50 settled. That will have an impact on Ngai Tahu and Tainui and they’ll get access to further top-ups.”

 ??  ?? Andrew Little
Andrew Little

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