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Treaty of Waitangi Settlements—Progress

Tuesday 16 November 2010 Hansard source (external site)

Quinn11. PAUL QUINN (National) Link to this
to the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

What recent progress has the Government made towards its goal of settling historical Treaty of Waitangi claims by 2014?

FinlaysonHon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) Link to this

The Government recently signed deeds of settlement with two Kurahaupō iwi at the top of the South Island, Ngāti Kuia and Ngāti Apa, and will be signing a deed of settlement with Rangitāne o Wairau on 4 December.

JonesHon Shane Jones Link to this

What about Taipā?

FinlaysonHon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON Link to this

Taipā is not at the top of the South Island. Since the start of last year the Crown has reached over 60 significant settlement milestones, including 21 agreements in principle and 10 deeds of settlement. That represents great progress, especially compared with the previous administration’s average of 1.6 deeds of settlement a year.

QuinnPaul Quinn Link to this

What other progress has the Government recently made towards its goal of settling all historical Treaty claims?

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

I apologise to the member, but I say to members on both sides of the House that the background noise today is unacceptable. A member was yelling endlessly across the House while the member was asking his question. I fully accept that tensions are quite high today. I have tried to let the House live a little more because of it, because I think there are times when one cannot keep the reins too tight. But I just ask for a little bit more reasonableness, please. I ask Paul Quinn to repeat his question.

HughesHon Darren Hughes Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. We accept your ruling. If you are to extend that protection to the particular member who is asking the question, then he might return the courtesy when other members on this side of the House are asking questions. This member in particular yells a diatribe whenever our people are asking questions.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

Members should not abuse another member when raising a point of order—for example, referring to something as a diatribe. Members should not do that. I admit that the member has interjected a little too often during question time today and he needs to be mindful of that, although I have not heard him yelling constantly, which is what was going on here. [ Interruption] Order! His voice is very loud and very distinctive, and one certainly hears it, but what we have just been experiencing is someone yelling continuously. I have not blamed one side of the House more than the other; I am just asking all members to be a little more reasonable. I am not blaming one side of the House any more than the other; both sides have been particularly noisy today in respect of background noise. I take on board the member’s point, and I ask Paul Quinn to be mindful of that when he is interjecting.

QuinnPaul Quinn Link to this

What other progress has the Government recently made towards its goal of settling all historical Treaty claims?

FinlaysonHon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON Link to this

The Government recently initialled a deed of settlement with Ngāti Porou. Ngāti Porou is now engaged in a ratification process and I—

JonesHon Shane Jones Link to this

Labour policy!

FinlaysonHon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON Link to this

What is Labour policy? It certainly is not to settle Treaty of Waitangi grievances. I encourage all those who are eligible to participate. I acknowledge the leadership of Ngāti Porou in reaching this milestone and the support of the Māori Party throughout the negotiations. I also acknowledge the very eloquent speech by the Hon Parekura Horomia at the ceremony when the deed was initialled.

KateneRahui Katene Link to this

What impact has the legal action being taken against the Crown by Wakatū Incorporation had on settling the claims of Te Tau Ihu iwi, and what can those iwi do to progress their negotiations?

FinlaysonHon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON Link to this

It certainly delays the signing of the deeds of settlement because, in accordance with the terms of negotiation, the Crown has had to suspend negotiations with Tainui Taranaki pending resolution of the Wakatū proceeding. They too were parties to the terms of negotiation, but in the interim I hope that the iwi of Tainui Taranaki will be able to work together to resolve the intra-iwi issues that remain outstanding. My understanding is that good progress is being made in that regard.

CalvertHilary Calvert Link to this

In the light of it taking 40 years to settle Treaty claims, does he expect it to take more or less time for customary marine title claims to be settled?

FinlaysonHon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON Link to this

It has not taken 40 years to resolve Treaty of Waitangi claims. This process really got under way in the early 1990s, and good progress is being made. In answer to the question about customary marine title matters, I say that I believe good progress can be made to resolve those matters once legislation is passed—legislation that, properly explained to the electorate, will secure their agreement. I think we should adopt that approach rather than scaremongering and unpleasantness.

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