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Ngai Tahu and Waikato-Tainui payments

Payments have been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under their Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Negotiations Hon Andrew Little announced today.

Payments of $16.6 million to Waikato-Tainui and $18.7 million to Ngāi Tahu have been made to ensure the value of their individual settlements maintain their relative size compared with the total value of all Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

“These payments are separate from payments made at the end of 2017 and relate to a dispute over a 2012 payment.

“This process is about maintaining the agreed relativity between the settlements agreed with Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu and the total value of all historical Treaty settlements. That was the undertaking made by the Crown in 1995 and 1997 when these settlements were reached, and we must honour it.”

“The Relativity Mechanisms, and Treaty settlements in general, are intricate. Each settlement has unique aspects to it, and the type and variety of redress has evolved over time. This has led to some genuine questions over what to include when calculating the total value of Treaty settlements. This uncertainty has led to differing views on the amounts payable to maintain relativity.

“It’s important to get these payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu right. The Crown is committed to honouring the contractual nature of the Relativity Mechanism clauses.

“Treaty settlements for both iwi include a Relativity Mechanism to ensure the value of their individual settlements maintain their relative size compared with the total value of all Treaty settlements. Both iwi can make a request for payment every 5 years to ensure the real value of their settlements remain at 17% (Waikato-Tainui) and 16.1% (Ngāi Tahu) of the total.

“The Crown, Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu have held different interpretations about what should be included when calculating the total value of Treaty settlements, and agreed to independent arbitration in 2013 to resolve these disputes. A variety of disputed items have already been considered by the independent arbitrator,” says Andrew Little.

Notes for editors

Overview of Relativity Mechanism payments

The total amounts paid under the Relativity Mechanisms are: Waikato-Tainui $289.3 million and Ngāi Tahu $297.4 million

Timeline of Relativity Mechanism payments

  • Waikato-Tainui and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement in 1995.
  • Ngāi Tahu and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement in 1997.
  • The Relativity Mechanisms were first triggered in 2012 when the total value of historical settlements exceeded $1 billion in 1994 present value terms.
  • In 2012, Waikato-Tainui received $70 million and Ngāi Tahu received $68.5 million in Relativity Mechanism payments.
  • The Crown and iwi agreed to enter dispute resolution in 2013 following the Relativity Mechanism payments made in 2012.
  • The dispute resolution process provides a level of independence over the decision about what to include in the relativity mechanism calculations.
  • Additional payments relating to disputed items have totalled $29.3 million for Waikato-Tainui and $48.9 million for Ngāi Tahu. These payments relate to the 2012 Relativity Mechanism payments.
  • In 2017 the second five-yearly Relativity Mechanism payments were made, $190 million to Waikato-Tainui and $180 million to Ngāi Tahu.