Tuesday, 19 February 2019
For immediate release

The Ngātiwai Trust Board are dismayed that the Crown signed another iwi up to the controversial Pare Hauraki Collective Settlement on Thursday last week.
Ngātiwai sought an assurance from Minister Little in November 2018 that the Crown will pause the Hauraki Settlements until the Waitangi Tribunal have held an urgent inquiry concerning overlapping claims. The Minister provided that assurance in December, but the recent signing with Ngāti Paoa flies in the face of the Minister’s assurance. 
Ngātiwai Treaty Claims Committee Chairman, Aperahama Kerepeti-Edwards, says, “We are confused by the actions of the Crown last week.”
“Technically speaking the Minister said he would not introduce any settlement legislation into Parliament but to continue to progress signings indicates the Crown’s dogged focus on inching the Hauraki settlements closer and closer to the line.”
“In determining to hold the urgent hearings, the Tribunal pointed out that the Crown had failed to provide any real evidence to refute the applicants and that was part of the reason why that Tribunal granted the hearings. It seems that the Crown have been more focused on inching the Hauraki settlements closer to completion than putting together any decent evidence for the hearings which is a real worry.”
“The Crown need to stop rushing through these signings when they know there are many unresolved issues.  We have a Waitangi Tribunal hearing coming up in April, so to me it would have made sense for the Crown to wait.”
“Mid last year we had a hui on our marae in Whananaki with the then negotiator for Ngāti Paoa.  At this hui we agreed to continue to have ongoing kōrero to understand their interests for which they claimed, and this was to be done on the marae, guided under tikanga Māori.  We were delighted with the initial meeting, and both parties were committed to completing the process.”
“We are dismayed that the Crown have now taken this step while we are waiting for the Hauraki overlapping claims inquiry to get underway.”
“We are extremely disappointed with the Crown’s actions.”

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