Hon TARIANA TURIA (Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector) on behalf of the
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations: I move,
That the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill be now read a first time. At the appropriate time I intend to move that the Whanganui Iwi (Whanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill be considered by the Māori Affairs Committee, that the committee report finally to the House on or before 19 March 2010, and that the committee have the authority to meet at any time while the House is sitting, except during oral questions, during any evening on a day on which there has been a sitting of the House, and on a Friday in a week in which there has been a sitting of the House, despite Standing Orders 187 and 191(b) and (c).
’e mihi aroha tēnei ki tō tātou kuia e takoto ana i Matahiwi. E rere kau mai te awa nui mai i te ka’ui maunga ki Tangaroa, ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au. E ngā ripo, e ngā ngaru mai i te tihi o Tongariro ki te kaihau o Kupe, W’anganui nui tonu, tēnā tātou katoa.
- [An interpretation in English was given to the House.]
[This is a loving tribute to our elder lady lying in state at Matahiwi. The great river flows from the mountain region to the God of Oceans. I am the river and the river is me. Greetings to you all, eddies and waves, from the tip of Tongariro, to Kupe’s domain, to you, Whanganui at large.]
I greet the House as a uri of Ngāti Apa/Wairiki, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Whanganui. I claim all of my w’akapapa; our w’akapapa should never be up for debate. This statement is fundamental to an understanding of this bill.
This bill gives effect to aspects of the deed of on-account settlement signed by the Southern Whanganui Cluster/Tūpoho working party on behalf of Whanganui iwi and the Crown on 31 July 2009. In doing so, this bill protects Whanganui iwi interests in the northern part of the Wanganui Forest and the half-share in the land under the Wanganui Prison. Although the bill is focused firmly on identifying interests within tribal
boundaries, the relationships with neighbouring iwi and ourselves are never far from our thoughts. Regardless of the line in the sand drawn in this process, it is my firm belief that we should not allow the passing of statutes to divide our w’akapapa relationships, because we are all of ourselves. We can be both Whanganui and Ngāti Apa/Wairiki, and we can claim all of who we are.
The agreement by the Crown to enter into an on-account settlement was an outcome of discussions between North Island Ngāti Apa and the working party to address the concerns that Whanganui iwi had with aspects of the North Island Ngāti Apa settlement. It has been good to have this bill and the Ngāti Apa bill both come up in the same week, to highlight our common interests, the areas that unite and bind us together as whanāu, hapū, and iwi. One of the more contentious features of the Treaty settlement process is the implications of decisions made in one iwi context for our families who have mixed tribal orientation. In situations where we face overlapping tribal boundaries, we have to make the choice to focus on one part of ourselves over and above another. Addressing overlapping interests is one of the key challenges in Treaty settlements. It is a difficult and a complex area, and there are no easy answers. Where groups claim an interest in sites offered to iwi in settlement negotiations, the Crown has the obligation to engage with them and consider their interests in good faith. But if I could say one thing to our people, it would be that we must not allow the process to divide us and take precedence over w’akapapa relationships with and between ourselves.
The on-account settlement with Whanganui iwi demonstrates the challenge that the Crown confronts in trying to find flexible and creative solutions to these very difficult issues of overlapping interests. But it represents also the challenge that we face as uri, to ensure that our relationships with each other are far more enduring and far more substantial. When the Crown steps out of the process, iwi will always be there, so we have to be ready to relate to each other, to respect each other, to work out our differences, and to unite on our common ground. So I stand today to acknowledge those historical relationships and strategic marriages that took place to maintain our w’akapapa. Those relationships must be at the forefront of every decision.
This deed of on-account settlement provides the working party with the opportunity to acquire a half-share in the land under the Wanganui Prison and a half-share of the Wanganui Forest not offered to Ngāti Apa. This opportunity arises only if Ngāti Apa decide to select their share of these two assets. But the right of deferred selection offered to Whanganui iwi over these properties is first subject to Ngāti Apa exercising their right of deferred selection over the land under the prison and the southern half of the Wanganui Forest. If Ngāti Apa do not purchase the half-share of the land under the Wanganui Prison or the southern half of the Wanganui Forest, the Crown will retain these properties.
The value of the assets transferred in this on-account settlement will be taken into account when the Crown makes an offer of redress for the final settlement of the Whanganui historical claims. This is the second on-account settlement offered to Whanganui iwi. The first was the transfer of the Wanganui courthouse, with a lease-back to the Crown, agreed in 2004. If such rapid progress can be achieved in these two on-account settlements, it does create confidence that perhaps the longest-running legal case in New Zealand’s history, the claims for Te Awa Tupua, may soon be close to settlement.
I will return to the point I raised earlier about the timing of this bill in the same week as the Ngāti Apa legislation. The transfer of these properties to Whanganui iwi is closely linked to provisions in the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill to transfer the land under the Wanganui Prison and the southern part of the forest. I propose the Whanganui on-account bill be progressed through its stages in Parliament
as a companion measure to the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill in order for the bills to receive the Royal assent on, or as close as possible to, the same date.
Finally, I thank the members of the working party and Whanganui iwi for their commitment to achieve this on-account settlement in a short time frame. I consider that the bill should, therefore, proceed without delay to the Māori Affairs Committee. I commend the bill to the House.
Hon MARYAN STREET (Labour)
: It gives me great pleasure to rise to support the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill. This bill is part of a series of negotiations that began some time ago. As we know, these negotiations take both time and a great deal of energy, particularly where there are disputes and overlapping claims. I recognise the points that the previous speaker, the Hon Tariana Turia, has made in respect of the differences between iwi and the efforts at resolution.
The previous Labour Government was engaged fully in the negotiations around this legislation, and these negotiations tend to take longer than the life of one Government. I recognise the work that has gone before by Ministers of the previous Labour Government in this process, and I acknowledge the work that has been done subsequently in the last year by Ministers in the current administration. The Labour Party is, of course, supporting this legislation, and it is pleased to do so.
I will take a moment in this speech to traverse a little bit of history, because some forests are involved in this settlement. I am very aware that a number of my colleagues in this House and, I think, a number of New Zealanders are not fully aware of what happens and why when we arrive at these legislated settlements, particularly where they apply to assets such as forests. It is worth traversing this background a little to show where we have gone, how long the process takes, and how much is invested by tangata whenua across this country when they have waited and waited for settlements to be finally resolved.
In 1989 the fourth Labour Government was in the process of selling forestry assets. The process of the sale of those Crown assets was held up by a man who took the case to court on behalf of tangata whenua and iwi throughout the country. That person was Sir Graham Latimer. On behalf of the Māori Council, he took the Government to court to prevent the sale of those Crown assets. A number of us in the Labour Party were very pleased at that point, because it was a bone of enormous contention in the Labour Party at the time. Sir Graham Latimer’s case was quite simple, even though it ended up becoming extremely complex and, in fact, went to the Privy Council. In those days we still felt the need to refer such things to the Privy Council. We no longer do; we stand on our own two feet and have our own Supreme Court to deal with those matters now. We have grown through that phase.
However, at the time, Sir Graham challenged on behalf of the New Zealand Māori Council the Government’s right to sell an asset that was subject to a historical Treaty of Waitangi claim. The accommodation arrived at was that the land would not be sold, but the cutting rights to the trees would be. The forests went out of Crown ownership—not in every case across the country, but in many cases—but the land remained in Crown control, because it was an important asset that was potentially to be part of a future settlement in redress for grievances under the Treaty of Waitangi. Nobody thought that the process would take as long as it has. However, the good thing that has come out of the process, apart from the fact that Sir Graham was able to maintain Crown ownership of the land, albeit with the trees coming and going, was that the rental of the property to forest owners generated an income that went into the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. The trust accrued that rental and the interest on it, and it dispersed the interest on the rental to Māori in order to advance their Treaty of Waitangi claims. Any iwi that had a claim
covering land that was part of the Crown forests had the ability to draw on the interest on those funds that was kept on their account by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.
I had the privilege of working for 5 years as a trustee of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, representing the Crown’s interests. I learnt a great deal about the process. I was not intimately acquainted with the process beforehand; I was only remotely aware of it. I became very intimately acquainted with the process and with the constructive application of the interest on those rentals to the settlement of Treaty of Waitangi claims. That was how a number of iwi were able to fund their claims. They would not have had the capacity to do so otherwise. That was a fair outcome.
The point is that in this settlement we now have part of the forestry lands returning with all conditions met to the iwi of the Whanganui area. That has to be another good milestone. It is another step in the process of reconciling this nation with itself. That is what Treaty of Waitangi settlements are about. The historical background to the return of forests is simply that. The rental of the property has been held in trust for Māori, and iwi have applied to use it in redressing their grievances. It is a tidy, neat, and fair solution to something that was, potentially, an enormous source of grievance to Māori. If those lands had been sold without any redress, then there would be even more grievances than we have today.
I am pleased to say that in this settlement we see not only the return of some Crown forest land with all conditions met but also the same principle being applied to the land under the Kaitoke Prison. The land becomes owned by Māori, and the buildings and so on remain the property of the Crown. That, again, is a neat solution. It is a good answer; it is a modern answer to the settlement of old grievances. Some of my colleagues will speak further about that.
I commend the Whanganui iwi for their efforts in reconciling differences and cross-claims. I think the previous speaker, the Hon Tariana Turia, was right to say that this is a good moment, with both the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill and this bill coming to the House at a similar time. The reconciliation and agreement between these iwi—although some of the agreements are yet to be finalised—recognise that iwi have a maturity, a thoughtfulness, and an appropriate application to claims, counterclaims, and overlapping claims. I congratulate the iwi concerned, and I assure them of Labour’s support for this legislation.
Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations)
: E ngā uri o te Awa Tupua i a Whanganui, Te Ātihau-nui-a-Paparangi me ōna hapū, ko Hinengākau, ko Tama Upoko me Tūpoho, tēnei te mihi atu ki a koutou e kaha nei ki te kawe i ngā moemoeā o ō koutou tūpuna, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ka tika hoki te kōrero “Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au.”
[I acknowledge you collectively, descendants of the eponymous river Whanganui: namely, Te Ātihau-nui-a-Paparangi and its subtribes, Hinengākau, Tama Upoko, and Tūpoho, on your efforts to fulfil the dreams of your ancestors. Greetings, greetings, and greetings to you all. The saying “I am the river and the river is me.” is most appropriate.]
I thank the previous speaker, Maryan Street, for her helpful comments. This is, indeed, a matter that has covered two administrations, and I acknowledge those Ministers in the previous Labour Government who played their part as we headed towards its settlement. To those members of the iwi who may have been present in the House when the Hon Tariana Turia was speaking, I simply say what I said in the House a few days ago in relation to the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill, which was that I did not, as it were, slope off while the Minister was speaking. There is some little rule of procedure that requires the Minister in charge of the House not to be present if someone else is going to do the first reading. I did not want Mr Hughes or
someone on the Labour side to take some pettifogging procedural point that would have caused me embarrassment. So there we are.
As the Minister said, this bill gives effect to aspects of the deed of on-account settlement that was signed by the working party of the Southern Whanganui Cluster and Tūpoho, on behalf of Whanganui iwi and the Crown, on 31 July, 2009. The bill protects Whanganui iwi interests in the northern part of the forest, and in the half share of the land under the prison, as was mentioned by the previous speaker. The agreement by the Crown to enter into an on-account settlement was an outcome of discussions between Ngāti Apa and the working party, and its aim was to address the concerns Whanganui iwi had with parts of the North Island Ngāti Apa settlement.
Addressing overlapping interests is one of the key challenges in Treaty settlements. It is a difficult and complex area, and there are no easy answers. Where groups claim an interest in sites offered to iwi in settlement negotiations, the Crown has an obligation to engage with them and to consider their interests in good faith. The on-account settlement with Whanganui iwi demonstrates the Crown’s willingness to find flexible and creative solutions to these difficult issues of overlapping interests.
As my colleague the Hon Tariana Turia has said, the deed of on-account settlement provides the working party with the opportunity to acquire, firstly, a half share of the land under the prison, and, secondly, the half of the forest that was not offered to Ngāti Apa. The right of deferred selection offered to the Whanganui iwi over these properties is subject to Ngāti Apa first exercising their right of deferred selection over the land under the prison and the southern half of the forest. If Ngāti Apa do not purchase the half-share of the land under the prison or the southern half of the forest, the Crown will retain the properties. The value of the transfer of assets transferred in this on-account settlement will be taken into account when the Crown makes an offer of redress for the final settlement of the Whanganui iwi historical claims.
This is the second on-account settlement that has been offered to Whanganui iwi; the first was the transfer of the courthouse in Wanganui, with a lease-back to the Crown, and that was agreed in 2004. The transfer of these properties to Whanganui iwi is closely linked to provisions in the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill to transfer the land under the prison and the southern part of the forest.
More broadly, there are a number of other positive developments in the Whanganui rohe at present. The Whanganui District Inquiry is now coming to a close, and the final hearing is in mid-December. Then, I expect, the focus of the iwi will turn to its coming into negotiations. I understand that the progression of land claims will be a topic of discussion at the hui-ā-iwi that is being held this weekend. I very much look forward to entering an intensive phase of negotiations early next year on the Whanganui River claims. Indeed, I was speaking to Sir Archie Taiaroa about that matter this morning, and I think that everyone hopes we will be able to achieve something by the middle of next year. Certainly, that is the hope.
With those words, I indeed support this bill going to the select committee, where it can be dealt with in conjunction with the Ngāti Apa bill, and dealt with, I hope, as quickly as possible.
H V ROSS ROBERTSON (Labour—Manukau East)
: Tēnā koe, matua Mr Assistant Speaker Barker. Kia ora tātou, nō reira e te Whare, e ngā iwi, e ngā reo, e ngā hau e whā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
I am pleased to take a call in the first reading of the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill. I am privileged to be able to address the House on this settlement bill. First, I acknowledge Minister Finlayson from the National Government and the Hon Tariana Turia from the Māori Party. I also acknowledge my own colleagues, who had a great
deal to do with bringing this legislation to the House, for the background work they did. The Hon Mita Ririnui did a lot of the legwork and negotiations, and I acknowledge the grunt work that was put in by the Hon Parekura Horomia.
This bill is the result of ongoing negotiations between the Crown and the Southern Whanganui Cluster working party. The agreement was an outcome of discussions between Ngāti Apa of the North Island and the working party on aspects of the Ngāti Apa settlement package. Taking a call this afternoon I acknowledge the leadership of the Southern Whanganui Cluster working party and Ngāti Apa, and their able advocacy for their people, for leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire others to follow. It is obvious that there was a lot of passion, real commitment, dedication, and motivation in wanting to provide a better way forward. For people to achieve, they need a purpose, they need a hand up, they need able advocacy, and they need the willingness to strike out on their own. So to Ngāti Apa I say “Kia kaha, tātou tātou.”
This on-account bill is about economics and about social responsibility. The late Nick Tangaroa, who was a friend of mine whom I knew from his time in Pakuranga—we worked together before he went back down to Whanganui—was a staunch advocate of redressing the wrongs of earlier generations. If he were here today—indeed, this week—he would be pleased and glad that a people’s hopes and dreams, and an economic partnership, are about to be recognised. It is an ability to contribute to the economic well-being of this nation, for together we serve and together we prosper.
The aim of this bill is to give effect to the deed of on-account settlement in which the Crown and Whanganui iwi agree to the transfer of assets for the on-account settlement of the Whanganui iwi historical claims. The preamble of the bill sets out the background to the Deed of On-Account Settlement of Historical Claims of Whanganui Iwi in relation to the Whanganui Kaitoke Prison and Part of the Whanganui Forest, which was entered into by Whanganui iwi and the Crown.
In doing some research on this, I discovered an article by Patrick Gower, a political reporter for the
New Zealand Herald. He had this to say: “Maori are set to become landlords of a prison for the first time in a deal where Corrections will rent the grounds of Wanganui’s Kaitoke Prison from tribal interests. A similar deal is underway with Wellington’s Rimutaka and Arohata prisons with an agreement in principle for the ownership of the land beneath them to go to Maori.” He went on to say that the deals are all based on the agreement that Māori will rent the land back to the Department of Corrections, which will retain control of the buildings. Ngāti Apa’s 2007 settlement was based on the grievance of the Crown acquiring the land cheaply and assuring them that they would benefit greatly, only for Ngāti Apa to find poverty and not partnership. That means that their economic prosperity as a people was denied. As a member of Parliament representing a multicultural electoral district in the south of Auckland, I concur with that settlement in recognising those feelings. Mr Gower goes on to say: “Mr Finlayson’s spokesman said Rimutaka men’s and Arohata women’s prisons would be given to the Ngati Toa collective as part of negotiations now underway.” I am reminded of where I grew up with the Ngāti Toa, just north of Wellington, with boyhood friends from the local marae: Simon Moriarty, Whitu Rōiri, Pamela Manu, and Te Ore Damon. Only two of those people remain today, the rest having died rather early.
To me, economic independence, the opportunity to provide employment, and a sense of achieving and contributing to society matters. It is about a person’s whole well-being. It is about giving a meaning to life. It is my fervent hope that this venture will be successful and that it will be a pathway to provide a future for tomorrow’s generation. All of us as members of Parliament are beholden to provide leadership and direction, to lead by example, and to provide the opportunities for people to achieve their full
capacity and to realise their ability to contribute to society rather than to be a cost. To recognise that one can make a contribution is important for all New Zealanders.
I acknowledge again the advocacy of Ngāti Apa and its people; they are strong advocates for their community, their whānau, and their mokopuna. I also acknowledge again the advocacy of the Ministers who led this work in the last Labour Government. I acknowledge the work of the Hon Mita Ririnui, who went out on the road, did the hard-core negotiations, represented the Crown, and worked tirelessly on the fifth Labour Government’s account. I also recognise the work that the Hon Parekura Horomia did in putting the grunt work in behind this legislation to make sure that it was ready. Of course, it must be said that this National Government, in coalition with the Māori Party, has at least decided to bring this legislation to the House to recognise that there were grievances and it is time that they were addressed. Kia ora tātou. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Kia ora.
RAHUI KATENE (Māori Party—Te Tai Tonga)
: I stand today to add to the debate on the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill. I welcome those of Whanganui descent who have come today to this first reading. Tēnā koutou.
This is a bill with a very long title, and an equally complex deed of settlement. The bill defines the deed of on-account settlement as “the deed of on-account settlement of historical claims of Whanganui Iwi in relation to the Whanganui Kaitoke Prison and part of the Whanganui Forest between the working party on behalf of Whanganui Iwi, the trustees of the Pakaitore Trust, and the Crown dated 31 July 2009 …”. What is perhaps missing from that very long definition is reference to Ngāti Apa, and yet the origins of this on-account settlement are firmly fixed in relation to Ngāti Apa. The working party referred to in the settlement was established and mandated for the express purpose of ensuring Whanganui hapū that claim interests in the southern or Tūpoho region of the Whanganui district had a vehicle for consultation on the Ngāti Apa settlement. It is, by its very nature, a settlement that is relevant only because of Ngāti Apa, or, more particularly, those hapū of Whanganui iwi whose interests overlap with Ngāti Apa.
The terms of the on-account settlement will enable the working party to have a right of deferred selection to a half-share in the land under the Wanganui Prison and the half of the Wanganui Forest not offered to Ngāti Apa. That right of deferred selection is subject to Ngāti Apa first exercising its right of deferred selection. Should Ngāti Apa decide not to purchase those assets, they will remain in Crown ownership, and are likely to be the subject of further negotiations with Whanganui iwi.
As we go through the detail of the bill, it becomes more and more evident that we are talking about a sophisticated tapestry of overlapping and interrelated discussions and dialogue between Whanganui iwi and North Island Ngāti Apa. As I understand it, the way in which the Crown applies the overlapping claims process in any particular case is meant to be managed in good faith to reflect the particular situations of the groups in negotiations and those with overlapping interests. In April this year the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, the Hon Chris Finlayson, held a major hui with iwi to encourage the various groups to identify procedural ways that they or the Crown could help to negotiate more efficiently. A key issue in the discussion was the possibility of the Crown offering more assistance to iwi with overlapping claims before the serious negotiations begin. Overlapping claims are a significant feature of our settlement landscape. Although everyone accepts that they are best settled by the claimants before negotiations with the Crown begin, it does not always work out that way, and in some instances the Waitangi Tribunal has been called in to resolve issues. I listened very carefully on Tuesday when my colleague Tariana Turia described the clear commitment
of Ngāti Apa to work towards ensuring that overlapping interests from other tribal groups within the rohe are addressed. The position put forward by Ngāti Apa was that they would claim areas of interest as theirs exclusively only as long as the available research was substantial and unopposed. I believe that is a very distinctive aspect of their settlement, and I will be interested, at the select committee consideration of this bill, to learn how the working party proceeded to negotiate with Ngāti Apa during the process of reaching the terms of agreement.
Minister Turia also made some very interesting remarks today in opening this debate, in speaking to the need for enduring and meaningful relationships between iwi before, during, and after the Crown enters the rohe. Whanganui and Ngāti Apa have to live together just as, in my case, Ngāti Kōata, Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa, and Ngāti Toa have all had to work out how we live together in our relationships with each other, and, in the case of the latter six iwi, with Kai Tahu. In the case of Te Tau Ihu, the Waitangi Tribunal found that when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 the latter six iwi I just referred to had valid customary rights that overlapped the acknowledged rights of Ngāi Tahu in various parts of the takiwā. The tribunal found that the Crown had acquired these lands and resources in violation of their rights. The Crown extinguished all customary rights in the northern part of the Ngāi Tahu takiwā through a series of acquisitions, including the Wairau purchase, the Waipounamu transaction, the Arahura purchase, and the Kaikōura purchase. In all of these purchases the Crown failed to fully inquire into, or consider the interests of, Te Tau Ihu iwi or to obtain their free and full consent.
I refer to that example because I think in all respects it is preferable to not try to accelerate the process nor to have to be forced to take matters to the Waitangi Tribunal. The wisest course of action is to have the kōrero, to try to settle support amongst the claimant community, and to ensure full, free, and frank discussion amongst all parties. I believe that what has been achieved in this Whanganui iwi deed of on-account settlement represents a commitment to working together, talking together, and settling together. It is my understanding that the iwi concerned are satisfied with the Kaitoke Prison and northern part of Whanganui forest on-account component of the package and believe that it effectively resolves any dispute that may have potentially occurred between Whanganui iwi and Ngāti Apa.
Of course, this is just the very start of the process before the bill becomes law, and a lot of water needs to flow under the bridge before the deal is signed. It will obviously be in everyone’s interest to get good commercial advice as to whether the prison and forest are good assets. We understand also that the nature of the redress offered means that Whanganui will not be in a position of having to make a decision whether to select the properties for another 6 to 12 months following the passage of the bill. That is a good breathing space to consolidate the settlement. It is also a good period of time to ensure that ngā uri o Te Awa Tupua o Whanganui, all descendants of the tupuna rohe o Whanganui, are actively consulted and engaged in the decision-making process around the on-account settlement. We, the Māori Party, look forward with great interest to watching how this settlement will pan out in action, and we are pleased to add our support to this bill at this first reading.
DAVID CLENDON (Green)
: Ki te mana o ngā iwi o Whanganui, tēnā koutou.
[To the integrity of the Whanganui tribes, greetings.]
The Green Party acknowledges with respect the work and endurance of the hapū, the whānau, and ngā kaumātua rangatira [the chiefly elders] of Whanganui, who have worked and who continue to work for the return of what is rightfully theirs and what has been taken from them.
The Greens are pleased to support this bill. Although we believe that there are clearly flaws in the Treaty settlement process, we will always support genuine progress towards making amends for historic and, indeed, contemporary injustices. I was never more proud to be part of the Greens than on the day a decade or so ago when we amended our own party constitution to include in it a preamble that stated our acknowledgement of Te Tiriti as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand and Māori as tangata whenua. This amendment was not made without some difficulty, and the trepidation felt by some within the party of our going down that path was, I think, a fair reflection of wider society, where many still see the Treaty as a threat or perhaps an historical anachronism. One extreme expression of this view, of course, is routinely heard emanating from a particular local body politician well known to the people of Whanganui. Those views expressed there have at least one value, in that they provide a useful benchmark against which to measure the progress made in understanding and awareness among the more enlightened general population.
The Treaty settlements that have already occurred, the return of land and assets, and, just as important, the Crown apologies that have been central to them have been powerful catalysts for opening up the debate, for raising awareness, and for building an understanding that this country’s political, social, and economic foundations will rest on uneasy ground until such time as there is a reconciliation. The Greens’ policy for resolving the Crown’s historical injustice against Māori is to set up a Treaty settlement framework that ensures that any timeline must be agreed with Māori, that there is full, fair, and durable restitution to Māori for Crown breaches, that there are adequate resources for the Waitangi Tribunal and, more important, for claimants, and that opportunities exist for Māori to have their resources returned to them.
In particular, the question of timeliness is one that continues to rate highly in much of the rhetoric around Treaty settlements. The Greens have already called on the Government to scrap the quite arbitrary deadline of 2014 for settling all Treaty of Waitangi claims. We believe it is more important to do it right than to do it quickly. The unilateral imposition of a deadline will simply provide a platform for pushing through a singular agenda based on hasty and superficial consultation rather than honest dialogue, and Māori generally, and particularly many of the smaller hapū and iwi, will bear the brunt of that. That is not to suggest that unnecessary delay or procrastination is acceptable. All too often the rhetoric about the need for a deadline for settlements somehow implies that Māori intransigence is the underlying cause of the protracted process. This is far from the truth. I have never at any hui, on any marae, or in any Māori context ever heard support for anything other than a swift resolution. Too many of our elders, and indeed generations of elders, have passed on after lifetimes of effort without witnessing the fruit of their labour, and we of later generations acknowledge our debt to them.
We commend this on-account settlement bill to the extent that it will increase the capacity of iwi Whanganui to pursue a further and more complete settlement. It is to be hoped that this and future Governments will accept their very real responsibilities to continue and indeed increase the support in resourcing of the relevant Crown agencies and, critically, that similar support is given to claimants.
There is a sad irony in the fact that part of the land being transferred under this settlement is land upon which a prison was built some 30 years ago. It is well known that Māori are heavily overrepresented in the prison population, and that our prison population overall is one of the highest per capita in the world. Between 1950 and 1990 there was a sevenfold increase in the number of Māori sent to prison, which is about four times the comparable non-Māori increase. It is no mere coincidence that this period saw also the major urbanisation of Māori, which has been described as the most rapid
on record for any ethnic minority anywhere in the world. Perhaps this Whanganui on-account settlement will give cause for thought and encourage an examination of the effects of the repeated and chronic violations of the Treaty by the Crown and by the Government, which began almost as soon as the ink was drying on the document and have continued to this day.
These violations have torn at the structure and fabric of Māori society, and have served to destroy much of the economic base that assured Māori independence and self-sufficiency. It is little wonder that the alienation, the fragmentation, and the loss of trust and respect for law that this destruction engendered have inevitably led so many of our young, and not so young, along the path to prison. In my own rohe of Tai Tokerau some 10 years ago the Greens joined others who fought hard, albeit unsuccessfully, against the building of a prison not only because of the offence to tikanga of desecrating a sacred site but also because we could not understand why, when there was no money for a polytechnic, for a youth centre, for a community economic development strategy, there was money for a prison. There is little satisfaction in observing that the site continues to be a place of strife and that the buildings themselves continue to sink into the ground, as predicted by those who know best that whenua.
The return of the mana over the land and other assets within this settlement can be seen only as part of the redress, and add to the capacity of Māori to rebuild their economic base, so providing the opportunities and skills that will keep our rangatahi out of prisons, and reduce other negative statistics that shame all of us as New Zealanders.
Settlements such as these are necessary, though not in themselves sufficient, to ensure that current and future generations of Māori have the resources and capacity to restore the natural environment, to rebuild social relationships, and to develop an economic base that will contribute to the assertion of tino rangatiratanga.
E rere kau mai te awa nui nei mai i te kāhui maunga ki Tangaroa; ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au; tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
[The great river flows from the mountain region to the God of Oceans. I am the river and the river is me. Greetings, greetings, and greetings to you all.]
Hon TAU HENARE (National)
: He mea tuatahi, ōku mihi ki tōku whanaunga i roto i te Rōpū Kākāriki, a Hēmi Clendon, nō reira, mihi au ki a koe e te rangatira.
[My acknowledgments, in the first instance, to my relative in the Green Party, James Clendon. So greetings to you, chiefly one.]
It is interesting that my Green colleague’s name is David James Clendon; in fact, my grandfather’s brother’s name is James Clendon Henare. Nō reira, mihi au ki a koe e te whanaunga.
[So I acknowledge you, the relative.]
One of the greatest things for a people is to recognise what has happened in the past. It is great when a people can carry their history with them on their journey. I think it makes those people a hell of a lot stronger than they may have been, and whether it is good history or bad history it is history that we need to be mindful of and carry with us to make us stronger. The Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill is good and creative, and it is a sign of future things where we do not just do the norm but try to figure out whether there is any other way that we can settle disagreements.
This bill is by no means what many people would regard as an iwi cross-claim; more so, it is a hapū cross-claim where there is maybe a slight disagreement—maybe I am downplaying it a bit much—between the hapū of one iwi. It is good that there has been an avenue where they have been able to get together and come up with a comprehensive agreement about their cross-claims, and the Crown has accepted the mechanics of that deal in an effort to move forward.
I will not take too much time but I too want to mention Nick Tangaroa, because it was Nick who offered me my first youth worker job so many years ago and I have a deep and undying respect for the work that he did.
I also make an interesting point about prisons. My Green colleague David Clendon mentioned Ngāwhā prison. I cannot wait for the day when Māori start to run their own institutions. To me it shows a level of maturity that we have gone past the times when our people thought: “Oh, no, we should not run prisons because how horrible that would be, as so many of our inmates are Māori.” I believe the opposite. We have to try something new, at least once, to see whether something good can come out of an innovative idea. So I think this is a small step forward. It is a step that has to be taken, and I think it is an indication that maybe this Government wants to try things in a different manner and a different way, to make sure that we keep chugging on with Treaty settlements.
I do not want to downplay the input from former Treaty Ministers, in particular Mita Ririnui. I also want to say on behalf of the Māori Affairs Committee that we will try our hardest to marry together the Ngāti Apa settlement bill and this bill so that we hear them as companion bills rather than as separate settlements. As the chairman of that select committee, I will be more than happy to recommend to our committee that we combine the work programme when we travel to Whanganui to hear submissions on both bills. Ā, nō reira e te Whare, e te Kaihautū, tēnā koutou katoa.
Hon MITA RIRINUI (Labour)
: Kāti rā, kai te Kaihautū, kai te tū tonu i ngā mihi i mihingia nei e tātou inatahirā tonu i te taenga mai o Ngāti Apa ki te pānui tuatahi o tō rātou pire whakaritenga, whakaotinga. Nō reira, nā runga i tēnā me mihi anō rā ki a rātou i te mea rā, nā rātou tēnei kaupapa i hāpai, i kōkirihia i roto i te Whare nei, kia tutuki pai ai.
[Suffice to say, Mr Deputy Speaker, the acknowledgments by us to Ngāti Apa when they arrived 2 days ago at the first reading of their settlement bill continue to apply. As a result of that, I acknowledge them again, because they took up this matter being debated in this House for a good outcome.]
I, like my colleagues on this side of the House, stand in support of the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill. It is a very elongated title.
Earlier in the week we were privileged to have a number of representatives from the iwi of Ngāti Apa from the Whanganui district in the House to hear the third reading of their Treaty settlement bill. The Hon Tariana Turia—who is of the local communities around Whanganui and up the Whanganui River, as she said earlier in her first reading speech—had the privilege of filling in for the Minister of Māori Affairs, who could not be in the House at that particular time. It must have been a huge privilege for her then, as it is today at the first reading of this bill. It is an unusual practice in this House, but in this case I think it is highly appropriate. Of course, it is not in breach of Standing Orders.
I endorse the comments made by previous speakers in terms of their support for this settlement. My colleague the Hon Maryan Street gave us a pretty comprehensive rundown of the history of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust: where it began, why it began, and how it brought Treaty settlements to the position we are in today. It is interesting to note the acknowledgments of the people who were involved right back then, because without those people it would be very difficult for the Māori claimant community to fund the Treaty settlements process, given that they have been stripped of resources over a number of decades. I acknowledge her contribution to this discussion.
I also thank the chairman of the Māori Affairs Committee, the Hon Tau Henare, who made some complimentary remarks—a rare occurrence—about the progress of this
legislation through the House and the commitment he has to the uninhibited passage of the bill through the select committee process. He also made comments about one particular aspect of the settlement, and that was in relation to Kaitoke Prison. Although my colleague the Hon Maryan Street touched on that part of the on-account settlement, which is the term that the Inland Revenue Department uses, I want to add to the discussion the fact that this is something different. I know that the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations was looking at similar arrangements at Rimutaka and Arohata prisons—transferring the land beneath those prisons as part of Treaty settlements—but in the case of Whanganui iwi it is interesting to note that they have signed up to an agreement whereby they will own the land under Kaitoke Prison, while the Department of Corrections will retain ownership of buildings and assets.
I think my colleague the Hon Tau Henare was referring in his comments to a pathway to privatisation. I do not see that as being the case at all. I see this as greater cooperation between the Crown and iwi, particularly when it comes to Crown properties. In this case we are talking about the ownership of land beneath the prisons. I have an issue with the privatisation of prisons. I think it is the responsibility of the State to keep our communities and our homes safe from dangerous criminals, and we have prisons and courts in place for that purpose. We have a justice system in place for that purpose. The feedback I am getting from Māori communities is questioning what signal Māori ownership of prisons sends to young Māori. Is it an extension of our marae? In other words, we can attend our marae functions at any time, so is there a clear signal to our younger generations that it is not OK to go to prisons, even if we own them in a particular way? This settlement bill is very clear that the Whanganui iwi will have ownership of the whenua beneath the prison; that whenua will be leased back to the Crown. It is an opportunity for the Whanganui iwi to have a commercial arrangement with the Crown over the prison, and I think that is a good and positive pathway forward.
In the House earlier this week some very generous compliments were paid, by just about all the speakers, to the Ngāti Apa negotiators in terms of their youth, in terms of their determination, and in terms of their foresight. In other words, they had a plan, and the plan began in settling their outstanding grievances. The plan included a pathway forward, a way of growing the settlement assets, and a way of transferring the benefits from that to their constituent hapū. That legislation pertained to Ngāti Apa in particular. This legislation refers to the Whanganui iwi. But having said that, I believe that the attitude of the negotiators for Whanganui was exactly the same as that of the Ngāti Apa negotiators. There were internal issues. I would not say there were overlapping interests; I would say there were shared interests. That being the case, and that being the understanding of the negotiators, a plan was put in place to mitigate those issues in the best way possible. For Ngāti Apa, the bill before the House today is an addendum to that settlement earlier this week.
It is incredible, we have to admit, that with each settlement bill that comes through this House we learn something. In the case of Ngāti Apa, they have taken us to another level. When I say another level, I mean a pathway to resolving issues that have the potential not only to divide people but also to derail negotiations. We have seen that in the past. Some members in this House have been guilty of making those sorts of situations arise when they do not need to. I recall that earlier in the year the Whakarewarewa transfer legislation was delayed—in my view, unnecessarily. The unnecessary delay was due to the local member deciding that there were some political opportunities to be gained by supporting the divisive group, and so that was done. I know that the member for Rotorua has an issue, but had he been around with his issue as long as some of us in this House have, I think he would have a better understanding of what I am talking about. Nevertheless, there was a successful outcome. But I am
hoping that we do not see that delay happen too much when it comes to similar settlement legislation. The fact is that the longer settlements take to resolve, the more difficult it becomes for the claimant communities. And the more difficult it becomes for those communities, the more fragmented they become. That does not need to happen. I once described this process as very, very arduous, yet it need not be that way.
If I have an issue with this bill, it is only the one issue. I hope that the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations is listening, wherever he is. This is the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill. The words “Whanganui Iwi” have an “h”; the words “Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest” do not.
JOHN BOSCAWEN (ACT)
: I had not planned to take a call in the debate on the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill, but my ears pricked up when I came back into the House and heard the comments of David Clendon. I want to address a couple of issue that have come out of the bill.
This bill transfers Crown assets—as we have heard, the land underneath the Kaitoke Prison and land associated with forestry—to Whanganui iwi, in settlement of their Treaty claims. I think it is very important that the Crown does settle Treaty of Waitangi claims, and that it does so in a speedy fashion. Equally, I think it is very important that when those claims are settled, they are settled in a full and final manner—that we have a full and final settlement, so that the injustices and the grief that have given rise to the Treaty claim can be settled and put away.
There are a couple of aspects of this bill that I want to focus on. One of them is that full and final settlement aspect. I also want to focus on the fact that this legislation involves, in part, a transfer of forestry land. Much forestry land has been transferred to iwi under Treaty of Waitangi settlements over many years, but it concerns me greatly that some of those settlements—in fact, I think five of those settlements—are currently under the process of renegotiation. Despite the fact that they were full and final settlements, I understand from the acknowledgement that the Minister for Climate Change Issues has made in recent days that he is actively negotiating with five iwi to renegotiate settlements and provide them with some additional compensation. He is doing that, he would say, because the Crown has been threatened with legal action. But he is also doing that to secure the support of the Māori Party in amending the emissions trading scheme.
I realise that Mr Deputy Speaker wants me to focus on the particular issue addressed in this bill, but that issue is important, because what is being transferred here is forestry land. Māori have had forestry land transferred to them in settlement of Treaty of Waitangi claims. I hope that the Whanganui iwi, when they get this forestry land, are not treated in the way that so many other iwi have been. Although the Minister for Climate Change Issues is negotiating to renegotiate, I understand, five settlements—and they principally relate to claims settled with Ngāi Tahu—many other settlements involving forestry land have been detrimentally affected by the passing of the previous Labour Government’s emissions trading scheme legislation last year. It has devalued the value of those settlements, and I hope that the Whanganui iwi do not have that same devaluation applied to the land that they are to have, at some stage in the future. That is actually quite important, because under the emissions trading scheme a person—
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have indicated here the topic that is under debate. Climate change has nothing to do with this legislation—the first reading of the bill before us. I ask the member to concentrate on the bill.
JOHN BOSCAWEN: I realise that climate change and a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, in the eyes of most people, would be totally, utterly unrelated. I do not want to challenge your ruling, but I would say the emissions trading scheme—
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mentioning the emissions trading scheme again is a challenge to my ruling. I ask the member to concentrate on the bill before us.
Hon David Cunliffe: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I have only just returned to the House, and I apologise if I have missed something important in regard to your ruling, but I seek clarification in support of my colleague Mr Boscawen. The issue of Treaty settlements in respect of—
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: No. I have ruled. This bill pertains to the Whanganui iwi. Part of it is to do with Wanganui Prison; part of it is to do with Wanganui Forest. We are not referring to the emissions trading scheme and to Treaty settlements associated with it.
Hon David Cunliffe: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is a more general point in relation to your previous ruling, and again I seek your clarification. Is it your ruling that the Speaker may now direct the subjects that members—
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: I made it very clear earlier on, before I had to intervene, that it is all very well to make a reference, but the member who was speaking dwelt for some time on the emissions trading scheme, and on forestry and Treaty settlements. That is not part of the bill. To make a reference to those matters is OK, but the substance of this bill is completely different from them.
JOHN BOSCAWEN: I will be very brief, and I thank the Hon David Cunliffe, a man with a lot more political experience and parliamentary experience than I have, for raising the points of order and for the support that he gave me.
I conclude by simply reiterating the point that I made earlier: I hope that the Whanganui iwi who take this forestry land in settlement of Treaty of Waitangi claims are not affected in the same way as so many others have been. We had the Federation of Māori Authorities talk about the greatest confiscation of Māori wealth since the 1800s. On that note I will leave it and sit down. Thank you very much.
SIMON BRIDGES (National—Tauranga)
: Tēnā koe. Tēnā koutou e te Whare. It is good to take a call on the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill. I said previously, when I spoke yesterday on the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill, that I do not want to be a bull in a china shop who has not been or is not affiliated to the iwi concerned—
Hon Member: Leave that to Paul Quinn.
SIMON BRIDGES: —yes, I will leave that to Paul Quinn—who gets to Whanganui only once in a while, and who has had no involvement at all with the Crown negotiations. But even a cursory reading of this bill makes it quite clear that in modern-day Treaty settlements we can as a Parliament and as a country be quite flexible and creative when dealing with the various interests and issues that are presented. To put that another way, we can take traditional, historic, age-old grievances and we can deal with them in very modern, innovative ways.
The Office of Treaty Settlements and the various officials that have helped on the Crown side have no doubt been very, very busy since National has been in power and the Hon Chris Finlayson has been dealing with these settlements. I know from my own very small number of dealings with them that they are very clever, very smart, and very sophisticated people in what they do, but they need to be, because they are dealing with difficult issues. I would say that they are multilayered and multidimensional.
I remember—and I do not necessarily remember all that much; it comes back to me in fits and starts—from law school a very prominent well-known American jurist from Harvard, I think, by the name of Lon Fuller. He talked about polycentric issues and
problems—that is, many-centred problems. He illustrated that with a picture of a spider web. When we touch one strand we impact the whole web, and nothing is ever the same again.
Again, I say, as an outsider, that Treaty settlements can be somewhat like that. They are very delicate, like spider webs. They have many strands. If we think about it without even getting into the issues involved in this particular bill and this on-account settlement, but just in terms of the parties, we see that there are intra-hapū issues and iwi issues before we even get to the iwi-versus-Crown issues. So these can be complex.
What I am saying boils down to this. In Treaty settlements today, we need to be, and we can be—and this bill illustrates that—flexible, creative, innovative, and modern in response to the age-old issues that these settlements throw up to the historic traditional problems that have been there for a long time.
I offer my congratulations to the iwi involved, to all the individuals on the Crown side, to the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, the Hon Chris Finlayson, and to those who went before him for the fine work they have done here.
Hon SHANE JONES (Labour)
: Ā, kia ora anō tātou. Te mihi atu ki a koe e te Kaihautū o te Whare. I te tuatahi, me huri ōku mihi ki tēnei tangata hou kua tae mai ki waenga tonu i te marea o ngā kaitōrangapū, te uri a Tenana, nau mai haere mai, tēnā koe. Tēnā koe mai i Hokianga Whakapau Karakia, tēnā koe mai i Te Pēwhairangi, nā reira, ngā mihi ki a koe.
[Greetings again to us, and to you, Mr Deputy Speaker of the House. In the first instance I turn to extend my greetings to this new member, descendant of Clendon, who has arrived in the domain for politicians. Welcome, welcome. Greetings to you from Hokianga Whakapau Karakia and Pēwhairangi, greetings.]
Before I begin my speech, I want to record and acknowledge the presence of the new MP, Mr Clendon, the proud descendant of James Clendon. I am not sure whether he comes from Sarah or the daughter of Takotowī of the Te Whata whanāu, but, whichever line he comes down, I welcome him.
As I stand and very briefly speak about this Whanganui Iwi (Whanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill, I am reminded of the tūpuna from Whanganui who undertook some very perilous litigation, not the least of which was to recover their rights to the bed of the Whanganui River. To date they have been unsuccessful. I met some of them in 1976, when my school, St Stephen’s School, were welcomed to the marae in Taumarunui. There were two old men on that marae, one being Richard Barrett—otherwise known as Tiki Pārete—and the other being Titi Tihu. Those two gentlemen would have probably been in their 90s and that time I was the ambitious young school orator. I think fondly of all those people who sought to recover their land in this area, with limited resources, great indifference from the Crown, and a considerable level of societal ignorance as to whether there was any legitimacy whatsoever associated with the complaints and the grievances of these people—in particular, those who came from the upper reaches of the Whanganui River.
I join with our other colleagues and acknowledge the good work that is being continued by the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and I acknowledge the role played by the Hon Tariana Turia in respect of advancing the land issues of the people whom she hails from. The genius of what is here is that at long last we are seeing a greater spirit of pragmatism in the settlement of claims. It is my view that there has been far too much slavish adherence to process. We allowed ourselves to be incarcerated within the fictional boundaries of the fiscal envelope. This is an example of where we have two competing claimants and a contested resource, commonly owned, about which, presumably, the Government of the day and its advisers are capable of
being flexible in their thinking and in the execution of the policy and its inevitable conversion into law.
As I look at this bill, I see that the Whanganui people have given us some very exciting episodes recently, not the least of which is Pākaitore, which is otherwise known to those possessed of a poorer level of history as Moutoa. It is rather interesting that in Part 1 of this bill there is not only a reference to the trust but also a definition of what the trustees are to do. It is a beautiful reminder that from a great deal of foment and anger from the occupation of Moutua we are now witnessing legislation going through the House that redresses a problem that captured an enormous amount of attention and threatened to divide lots of New Zealanders. It was quite a passionate issue. I think it was when the Hon Tau Henare was the Minister of Māori Affairs, and I may have mistakenly gone up there alongside him one time when I was a member of the Māori Fisheries Commission. But this is progress, and it has taken a long time to get here.
Hon Tau Henare: It wasn’t a mistake. You did it on purpose.
Hon SHANE JONES: I am not entirely sure whether he had a great deal to do with either moving this bill forward or the first foray that he undertook. I know that he scared the life out of the mayor, who I think was called Chas Poynter or something like that. In that sense, it is positive.
In relation to the remarks of my colleague Mita Ririnui about Kaitoke Prison, it is ironic that the land that is being made available for inevitable full restoration back to the tangata whenua of that area has a prison on top of it. It is sad to say, but a significant percentage of its occupants will no doubt be related to the people who originally owned that land. I hope that when the land is moved into private ownership, albeit in the form of some sort of collective kin-based possession, we do not see the infrastructure standing on top of the land similarly follow a type of private ownership so that one day we have not only the private ownership of the land underneath the prison but also the private ownership of the prison. That is something that I do not agree with, and anyone promoting that deserves the meaning of “kaitoke”, which means to be consumed by worms.
We need to be positive about the other piece of this legislation, because there is a great deal more work to be done. This legislation gives an excellent account in clause 5 of Part 1 as to what the origins of the claims are. It is essential that when we resolve these claims we resolve them in such a way, as Sir Douglas Graham did in his time, that we give reassurance and peace to the communities that are impacted by these land disputes, resource disputes, and historical grievances. Whether they come from fiduciary duties, from actual rights protected in law, from existing or subsisting common law, or from some other origin—customary or indigenous—it is important that once these settlements are entered into, they remain intact. They should not be used by Governments that follow as a source of fomentation, or of trammelling or fiddling with a long-term solution for a short-term political gain.
That is why when this claim, which relates to forests, among other things, is entered into, I hope that all members of the House agree that it should not be subject to relitigation. It should not be opened up. It should not be changed at the caprice or the whim of whatever political flavour is breezing through the House at a given point in time. I fear that that would undo the work and the promise that all New Zealanders have decided to trust in; that is, the process for settling claims. For those reasons a number of useful remarks were made earlier, uncharacteristically by the ACT Party, and they come as a timely warning. When we use the good will of the public and we make a legitimate attempt to address the wrongs of history, we do not allow short-term political imperatives to undermine those settlements. That will lead not only to racial discord but also to our mokopuna, our future generations, coming back and saying that we
encouraged and engendered an appetite to continually revisit acts of history to suit short-term social or political imperatives. Irrespective of what area one comes from, that is not good for our overall nation’s future.
In relation to the Crown forestry asset portion of this bill, I have to acknowledge a small, largely forgotten—predictably so—role that Mr Quinn played in the origination of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. I acknowledge him along with one of his matua, Tama Nīkora, and my matua from the far north, Sir Graham Latimer. Had it not been for the Federation of Māori Authorities, the New Zealand Māori Council and the willingness of the Government of the day, with great encouragement from the High Court or the Court of Appeal—I do not recall which particular one—we would not have legislation that relates to forests. Earlier Governments decided that the forests were no longer useful parts of the public estate. As I have recalled the names of the kaumātua from the tangata whenua of that area, I also think it is important that we recall the names of the people—indeed, some of them grace this House today—who played a role in building the infrastructure that has brought us forward over the last 20 to 25 years.
It is a pleasure to support this legislation. There is a great deal more work to come but there are some fantastic leaders, not the least of whom is Sir Archie Taiaroa. I wish them well, along with the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. Kia ora tātou.
PAUL QUINN (National)
: Kia ora tātou. Tēnā koe e te Whare. Firstly, I join with other speakers who have acknowledged the iwi and hapū in respect of this Treaty settlement in extending my congratulations. I may be a bit slow off the mark in this acknowledgment, because I have been humbled by the acknowledgment my friend and colleague Shane Jones made of my involvement in the establishment of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. I acknowledge it and leave it at that, though I might say I consider it one of my greatest pieces of work.
I think it has all been said in respect of the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill, which follows closely, as others have already acknowledged, on the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement bill, which was introduced earlier this week. I will not reflect on the emotions I had in my presentation then.
I will take a slightly different angle and make a couple of comments on previous speakers. David Clendon seemed to put a lot of emphasis on the deadline of 2014 to settle all Treaty claims. I assure him that this Government has never claimed it as a deadline; it has only ever been a target. It remains a target. More important, it is what iwi want. Iwi and hapū want to get on and settle their claims. They are happy to have that date, because it brings focus to the whole Treaty negotiation process. Both parties to the Treaty claim are very keen to stick to that target, but that is all it is: a target.
The second thing I will cover briefly is my disappointment to some extent with the contribution to this debate of my relative Mita Ririnui. He was a bit critical and seemed to imply that a lack of progress has been made by this Government in respect of Treaty settlements. By comparison, I reflect that when the previous administration came into power in 1999, seven Treaty settlements were in the same position as the settlements before us today. It took until 2002 before one of those settlements came before this House—just one settlement. What did the previous Government do for 2 years? Yet Opposition members turn around and say that we are not doing enough. I know that the Ngāti Awa claim sat around until 2005. Te Uri o Hau was the first settlement, but it took until 2002 to come before the House. This Government can take great pride that within its first year it has progressed and signed off the Taranaki Whānui settlement, it has picked up on the work done by the previous administration in respect of Ngāti Apa, and now we have the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of
Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill. We have also completed the delivery of the apology to Te Arawa.
I will cover one final point, and I think it is very important that it go on the record. Previous speakers—in particular, John Boscawen and Shane Jones—made some comments in respect of renegotiating and opening up settlements. In particular, reference was made to the five iwi with which this Government is endeavouring to reach an agreement over the emissions trading scheme. Let the record show that the previous administration renegotiated with the same five iwi in terms of reaching a settlement with its emissions trading scheme. The reason I know that is that I sat in Dr Cullen’s office in the presence of David Parker and renegotiated that deal. So those members on that side who are accusing this Government of reopening and renegotiating Treaty settlements should look in the mirror first. That administration renegotiated with the same five iwi, including Ngāi Tahu, and it did another deal. I am disappointed if the members on the other side do not know and are not familiar with the detail, but it is in my brain as though it was negotiated this morning. I can tell members every detail, as I can tell them about the Crown Forestry Rental Trust details when I negotiated its establishment in 1989.
Hon John Carter: What colour tie did David have on?
PAUL QUINN: I cannot remember that; I was focused on the numbers. The point is that the record should show that the Opposition renegotiated with the same five iwi over the Crown forest that was taken in those settlements. In this particular settlement, it will not be renegotiated, because the emissions trading scheme is accounted for in the southern part of the Wanganui Forest.
With those few words, it gives me great pleasure to join others in commending this bill in its first reading.
Hon JOHN CARTER (Minister of Civil Defence) on behalf of the
Minister of Māori Affairs: I move,
That the Māori Affairs Committee consider the Whanganui Iwi (Wanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Wanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill, that the committee report finally to the House on or before 19 March 2010, and that the committee have the authority to meet at any time while the House is sitting (except during oral questions), during any evening on a day on which there has been a sitting of the House, and on a Friday in a week in which there has been a sitting of the House, despite Standing Orders 187 and 190(1)(b) and (c).