Crown response to Ngai Tahu

  • Margaret Wilson
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Friday, 14 December 2001Media Statement
Crown response to Ngai Tahu

The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Margaret Wilson says the Crown is considering Ngai Tahu’s concerns over boundary issues. She says she will report to Cabinet on the matter early next year.

“The Crown has stated that it is honouring the Ngai Tahu settlement and considers that the settlement is not under threat, simply because the Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the claims of non Ngai Tahu Maori in relation to the takiwa. Furthermore, no other settlements are (or will be) affected by this issue.

“The Crown cannot deny Maori the right to take their claims to the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal has now affirmed that position. As the Court says: it is ‘time for the real issues to be addressed by the Tribunal without any further interlocutory warfare’.

“The real issue is a question of what the Crown's position will be should the Tribunal find there were breaches of the Treaty in relation to the Top of the South iwi in that area. That cannot be determined until the Tribunal has examined the issues and the Crown cannot pre-empt this. In any event, no redress provided to Ngai Tahu as part of their settlement would be adversely affected.

“Ngai Tahu has not directly raised the issue of Aoraki with me but I appreciate the significance of Aoraki as an important symbol of Ngai Tahu's relationship to their ancestors and the land.

“The Crown has not yet transferred Aoraki to Ngai Tahu as part of the arrangement for a transfer and gifting back by Ngai Tahu. For this to happen it is necessary for a date to be agreed between Ngai Tahu and the Crown. In the meantime the Crown’s role in relation to Aoraki remains unchanged”.

Contact; Colin Feslier 04 471 9337 021 864 811