Settlement deed progress for Marutūāhu and Pare Hauraki iwi

By Talisa Kupenga

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has initalled the Marutūāhu iwi collective redress deed and says he is also ready to do the same with that of the Pare Hauraki collective.

He expects iwi to engage and address any outstanding issues through their own tikanga-based process.

Four of the five iwi party to the Marutūāhu settlement have agreed to take the next step.

Little says "Ngāti Paoa haven't agreed there are some internal issues.  I don’t think they're insurmountable but I think it is now time to make progress with that settlement."

Former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson supports the decision.

"It's a real advance that they've got to this stage and i'm delighted."

The minister is also ready to sign the Pare Hauraki redress deed, which has caused tension with some iwi in Tauranga Moana due to overlapping claims.

Little says "We've got changes to the deed.  I'm going to sign it.  I've made it very clear my expectation now is that they embark on a tikanga-based process." 

Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei has taken legal action against the Crown, arguing the Crown ignored it's role as mana whenua when it developed the Marutūahu collective settlement deals.

It also argues that tikanga should be considered in settlement negotiations when it comes to overlapping claims.

Little says, “Whatever the court decides to do, it doesn't stop the Crown being able to respond constructively if the court rules against us or if it rules for us.  So we'll see what happens there."