Treaty Settlement – Update

With the Crown’s endorsement of The Ngātiwai Trust Board’s Deed of Mandate in October 2015, The Board moved into the next phase of the Treaty Settlement process referred to as Terms of Negotiations (ToN).

This phase had originally expected to take three months, but since endorsement of the mandate, some claimants have logged urgency applications with the Waitangi Tribunal against the Crown’s endorsement of the Ngātiwai Trust Board’s Deed of Mandate.  The consequence of this has seen the Board invest a lot of time and resource into responding to these submissions and the expected completion of the ToN phase now pushed out to the end of June.  This will culminate in the signing of a document, which details the rules for engagement in negotiations between the Crown and the Board.

During the ToN phase, funding became available from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, which allowed the Board to begin setting up the supporting structures as outlined in the Deed of Mandate. These structures allow for the inclusion for our kaumātua, hapū, marae, establishment of the Negotiations team, two new Treaty Claims Committee members and researchers (including WAI claimants) to participate in the settlement journey.  Terms of reference have been drafted for each of these groups, which are being reviewed by the Trustees at this month’s board meeting for approval.

As a first step to setting up these structures, the Board recently called for Expressions of Interests from within our Kaumātua, Hapū and Marae groups to participate in a panel to screen and interview potential negotiators to be appointed to the Ngātiwai Negotiations team.  This panel will interview Negotiator applicants and make its recommendations to the board, who will then appoint the two negotiators.  As well as these two appointments, one negotiator will also be appointed from the existing Trustees. The interview panel process allows for our wider whānau to participate in the settlement process by assisting with the selection of negotiators.
During this phase, the ToN document is also being drafted.  Important issues are being considered such as, Sovereignty and inclusions of terms and principles to ensure our mana is retained.  Recognition in the ToN of our unique position as people of the sea with the potential inclusion of terms that recognise this.  Once negotiators are appointed to represent Ngātiwai, these important issues as well as others will be a major focus for the Negotiations team.
As we progress through this phase and appointments are made, the Ngātiwai Trust Board will ensure that we communicate these to our iwi as well as any other important announcements that may arise during this time.
Following on from the recent successful Wānanga at Ngaiotonga Marae on 25th February, The Trust Board will be holding more Wānanga with Workshops specific to the Treaty Settlement process to ensure that important information is shared with whānau and opportunity given to discuss this on the marae.  We will announce dates of future wānanga soon.
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