Treaty payments total more than $1 billion

By Patrick Gower

Treaty of Waitangi payments will now total more than $1 billion dollars due to the Tuhoe settlement.

That means many more millions will be paid to some tribes that already have settlements.

Tainui signed its Treaty deal with the Queen in 1996 and got a $170 million payout. Ngai Tahu followed a year later with another $170 million.

Now Tuhoe have the same amount.

The Government confirmed that will take the total in treaty payments to over $1 billion, and that actually means Tainui and Ngai Tahu will get paid even more - triggering what's called a "relativity clause".

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says it is not that interesting.

“Oh it’s definitely going to be triggered, but again there's no scoop in that that needs to be released by TV3.”

In summary:

  • The $1 billion treaty total enacts the top-up clause
  • Tainui gets 17 percent and Ngai Tahu 16.1 percent of all future payments
  • For example, every $100 million paid out to other tribes from now on, Tainui get another $17 million and Ngai Tahu get $16.1 million

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says it was unexpected.

“The answer is - no you would not expect that - but it looks like that is what's going to be triggered now.”

Tuhoe's deal has pleased its people, including Tame Iti, who relayed this tweet to family members from jail: “Tuhoe live in Te Urewera, we are part of its history. It makes sense that we now part of its future.”

It includes a concept called mana motuhake, which is Tuhoe control of Government services it hopes will lead to independence.

“If we are going down a path of separate development, separate institutions, separate governance - then all I can see is a long-term disaster - first for Maori, and then for the rest of us,” Mr Peters says.

It's a unique arrangement, but tribes who have already settled will not get a chance to re-negotiate.

While Tuhoe gave up on its bottom line of total control of Te Urewera, 3 News has learned it did well financially. A Government spokesperson says the $170 million payout was about $50 million more than the last offer on the table.

3 News

source: newshub archive