The New Zealand Herald
$35m in Treaty top-ups
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.”