Ngāti Rangitihi is seeking redress from the Crown for breaches of guarantees set out in the Treaty of Waitangi.
What can we expect from a Comprehensive Settlement with the Crown?
- An apology and acknowledgement
- Financial ($) and/or commercial (crown assets) redress – also known as ‘quantum’
- Cultural redress – relates to sites of significance for iwi and redress might include the return of sites to iwi
What steps has Te Mana taken in the settlement process?
- Te Mana was established in 2008 as the post-settlement governance entity representing Ngāti Rangitihi in the CNI Settlement and Mana Whenua Settlement processes. It was mandated by the iwi for this purpose.
- As a large natural grouping of Ngāti Rangitihi, with over 4,000 registered members, Te Mana approached the Crown in 2010 to begin the process of seeking a further mandate from its iwi to represent them in Comprehensive Settlement negotiations with the Crown.
- Te Mana followed the Office of Treaty Settlements process and gained Crown approval for its Mandate Strategy in September 2013.
- In June 2014 Te Mana received a 77% approval rate from the iwi to enter direct negotiations with the Crown. Te Mana then forwarded a Deed of Mandate to the Crown for ministerial recognition.
- The Crown recognised Te Mana’s mandate in June 2015 and approved Terms of Negotiation in November 2015. Te Mana has since been in direct negotiations with the Crown.
- Te Mana has developed a Comprehensive Settlement Redress package and submitted this to the Crown in August 2016.
- On 22 December 2018, Te Mana signed the Agreement in Principle with the Crown, and negotitaions continue towards a Deed of Settlement.
- A Crown-required ratification process was held in June and July 2019 to approve the new Te Mana Post-Settlement Governance Entity and Trust Deed (new Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust) which would receive the settlement redress once the Deed of Settlement is ratified in 2020. Voting results were announced on 12 July, with 92.16% of valid votes cast supporting the establishment of a new Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi PSGE and Trust Deed.
Historic Central North Island (CNI) Treaty of Waitangi settlement
In 2009 Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust was one of eight iwi (the CNI Iwi Collective) that were party to the historic Central North Island (CNI) Treaty of Waitangi settlement, receiving more than $9 million in settlement assets and holdings.
The process of determining Mana Whenua interests for the 23 Central North Island (CNI) forest blocks was set out in the CNI Forests Collective Settlement of 2008. A unique feature of the CNI settlement was the agreement that the eight CNI iwi themselves, rather than the Crown, would decide which areas of the returned land would rightfully belong to each iwi. The process would comprise kanohi ki te kanohi negotiations first and then adjudication if required.
In 2014, after a number of years of unsuccessful kanohi ki te kanohi negotiations, nine Kaingaroa forest blocks went to adjudication.
On 26 June 2014, the Adjudication Panel announced its findings on the nine blocks, finding 22% belonged to Ngāti Rangitihi. With the adjudication process for these blocks complete, negotiations on the 14 remaining forest blocks (four of them in the Kaingaroa) will continue.
The Settlement Process
There are four key stages in a Treaty settlement.
STAGE ONE: Pre-negotiation
The claimant group chooses people to represent them in negotiations. This involves:
• Mandating process – the claimants vote on the entity that will represent them in negotiations (COMPLETE)
• Signing the Deed of Mandate – the Crown must recognise the mandate before negotiations begin (COMPLETE)
• Choosing negotiators – the mandated group decides which individuals will lead its negotiations (COMPLETE)
• Signing Terms of Negotiation – between the Crown and the mandated representatives (COMPLETE)
STAGE TWO: Negotiation
The representatives and the Crown negotiate the settlement. This involves key milestones along the way:
• Signing an Agreement in Principle (AIP) – the framework for the settlement (COMPLETE)
• Ratification process – voting on the Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE)
• Initialling a Deed of Settlement (iDOS) – the draft content of the settlement
• Ratification process – voting on the proposed Deed of Settlement. The claimant group must agree to the proposed settlement before moving to the next stage. The Crown decides if the ratification voting shows ‘sufficient support’ for the settlement to go ahead.
STAGE THREE: Legislation
If ‘sufficient support’ is received, the settlement goes through the law-making process. The process is:
• The settlement is introduced to Parliament as a Bill
• The Bill goes to the Māori Affairs Select Committee and is open for public submissions
• The Bill goes through the Second and Third Readings in Parliament, and receives the Royal Assent, becoming law (the Settlement Act)
• The claimant group receives a letter confirming that the settlement has been made law and is complete
STAGE FOUR: Implementation
The Crown and the claimant group work together to make sure everything agreed in the Deed of Settlement happens.
• Final steps in the set up of the Post-Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE) and Trust Deed, and the election of trustees (usually while the legislation stage is underway)
• The redress package is transferred to the PSGE within an agreed amount of time, usually 40 working days after the settlement becomes law
• All other arrangements detailed in the agreement are implemented