Rushing treaty claims not sitting well with Waitangi Tribunal
The Waitangi Tribunal is slamming the previous government for rushing treaty claims.
The tribunal says the Crown tried to close a $100 million deal with a group from Te Whakatōhea that didn't have the backing of the whole iwi.
Te Ringahuia Hata, māngai for Ngāti Ira says Te Whakatōhea hapū are celebrating the decision.
“It's definitely a win in most parts of the report - probably the majority of the report. All of our issues were heard. The Crown was not fair and reasonable and we are happy that the tribunal agrees.”
The Ngāti Ira hapū put forward a petition in 2016 saying 92% Te Whakatōhea claimants completely opposed the group selected by the Crown. This triggered the Waitangi Tribunal to look into the matter with urgency.
Hata says this is an example of how the previous government handled treaty settlements.
“It just goes to show that Finlayson and the government before that have left a huge mess in the treaty settlements arena - and we're not the only iwi and hapū fighting this and this is now the third mandate report the tribunal has issued.”
The current Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says he's not about throwing the previous government under the bus.
“I'm not going to criticise the previous government - the tribunal has made its rulings, made its findings, we live with that and we seek to work with that iwi to put it right and that's what we'll do.”
According to the tribunal report, there shouldn't be any attention paid to tribal trust registers.
Little says he wants to work together with Te Whakatōhea to come up with a better settlement.