Hugh Barr, who is secretary of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand, and who has fought against the National Government’s marine and coastal area policy since 2010, details the threat posed by the current outpouring of claims for the coastal area that the Government said would never happen.
He wrote that under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011, in the six years to the close-off date for claims on April 3, 2017, only about 50 claims were lodged, and only one, a special case of mutton-bird islands, on a very remote coast, met the conditions. A significant number of claims were turned down.
However, after the close-off date more than 500 last-minute claims were filed. “Maori tribal groups were obviously colluding to put pressure on the National Government, before the coming election, and give a two-fingered salute to the public,” he wrote.
Tuwharetoa to get $25m plus
Taupo tribe Tuwharetoa will receive financial and commercial redress of $25 million, cultural redress of $3,950,000, as well as 32 culturally significant properties under their treaty settlement signed at Waitetoko Marae near Turangi on Saturday.
Ownership of the bed of Lake Taupo was vested in the tribe in 1992, updated in 2007. They have received a share of trout fishing licences and boating fees since 1926.
Tuwharetoa received a share of Central North Island Crown forest land valued at $203 million as part of the 2008 Central North Island Forests Iwi Collective settlement.
By mid-2013, bad investments were blamed for wiping out almost half the value of the tribe’s share of the forestry settlement cash.
Not bad for a tribe that did not sign the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Hobson’s Pledge position on treaty settlements is that wherever it can be reasonably established that the Crown unlawfully confiscated property from any individual or group, compensation should be paid, provided however that any such compensation should be “full and final”.
There were no confiscations around Taupo.
Who to trust in handling trust money
Misappropriation of funds from Taranaki’s Ngati Te Whiti Whenua Topu Trust with one person facing a theft charge prompted an observation that such behaviour is “endemic”.
Members of Ngati Te Whiti hapu hijacked their trust offices in New Plymouth on Friday, June 30, changing the locks and wanting their current trustees to stand down. Six police officers tried to defuse the conflict.
Hapu member Peter Capper, who led the takeover, said Maori can learn from this ordeal by being vigilant about who is looking after marae and iwi finances.
“It is endemic throughout Maori trustees. They are electing people who have no experience in the corporate world. If you don't know how to operate in that environment then you are going to trip up – guaranteed,” he said.
Little actual support for Treaty settlements
Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson on Thursday boasted broad cross-party support for Treaty settlements as Parliament considered the Ngati Tamaoho, the Rangitane Tu Mai Ra (Wairarapa Tamaki nui-a-Rua), and the Ngati Pukenga claims settlement bills.
Research on the number of Maori interested enough in Treaty settlements to vote in support of the group to make a claim on their behalf showed that only 27,569 valid votes were cast since 2000.
This is around four percent of the 598,605 New Zealand citizens who ticked the Maori-ancestry box in the 2013 census
Despite the “broad cross-party support” claimed by the Treaty Negotiations Minister, it appears that there is not much support from “Maoridom” for Treaty settlements.
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