20 Jul 2012

Treaty grievance legislation in House

8:31 am on 20 July 2012

Legislation to settle historic Treaty grievances is progressing through Parliament with near-unanimous support.

The House is using a provision for extended hours to get five bills through their second readings.

The settlements include apologies from the Crown for events in which there was loss of life and confiscation of land.

For Rongowhakaata in Gisborne, that included the summary execution of prisoners at Ngatapa in 1869, and the imprisonment, without trial, of prisoners in the Chatham Islands.

Ngai Tamanahuiri, also in Gisborne, suffered similar injustices and after losing most of its land through alienation, lost even more to the Crown through the Public Works Act, as late as 1983.

Ngati Makino in the Bay of Plenty also lost nearly all of its land through the Crown not allowing it to lease it out, and lost more through compulsory acquisitions.

Descendants of the Maraeroa A and B Blocks (two bills) south west of Te Kuiti are also getting their claims settled, with the Crown acknowledging that the amount it paid for the blocks did not reflect their value.

Financial redress for the iwi claims range from between $11 million and $22 million.

The bills are due back in the House for their third and final readings next week.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says there are about 60 Treaty of Waitangi claims to go through the parliamentary process.

Mr Finlayson says good progress is being made settling historic grievances and he believes that by 2014 all iwi willing and able to negotiate should have their agreement in principle.