It’s all relative

Ngai Tahu settlement

Recently some mainstream media ran a story on Ngāi Tahu and Waikato-Tainui “quietly” receiving “huge top-ups” to their “full and final settlements.” These relativity payments were agreed between the Crown and these iwi as part of their settlements.

Simply put, as Ngāi Tahu and Tainui were being offered a proportion of the pie that was available at the time (the $1b the Crown proposed to allocate to all settlements), it was agreed that if the pie increased in size over time they would get some more of it – meaning that the total amount they received would remain proportional to what was committed at the outset. As this balanced discussion of relativity payments explains, these payouts are part of the Crown’s contractual obligations, there’s nothing secretive in making them.

Within the skewed reporting on Treaty settlement relativity payments there was a bigger story that was totally overlooked — that according to the Office of Treaty Settlements a total of $2.2 billion was spent on Treaty settlements to iwi in the last 25 years (1992 – 2017). Here are a couple of examples of relativity in the context of the total financial payments.

Settlements govt exp

frigates

So where’s the headline story about the relatively tiny amounts that are being allocated to this process?

Sources:
Why Ngāi Tahu and Tainui’s Treaty payment top-ups are fair and legal (The Spinoff 23/01/18)
Ministry of Defence takes the blame for a $148 milllion frigate upgrade budget blowout (Stuff 14/12/17)
Financial Statements Year End June 17 (Treasury)
Office of Treaty Settlements.

 

Webinar: Community organisations engaging with Te Tiriti o Waitangi

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This recent webinar provides guidance for Tangata Tiriti community organisations in their efforts to engage with Te Tiriti. It contains discussion of:

  • How organisations are engaging with the Treaty of Waitangi
  • The factors of effective engagement
  • Where to find additional resources to guide you
  • Practical NGO application, as told by Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa / Occupational Therapy New Zealand

 

Treaty voyages workshop

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A few last minute places have just become available on this workshop next week. It is being run by Groundwork: Facilitating Change in conjunction with Community Law’s Wellington office.

Treaty Voyages – Half day workshop for community organisations
Whether your voyage is well underway or you’re still contemplating how to start, this training will provide an opportunity to consider your direction and seek some wise feedback on your organisation’s questions. To get the most out of this training, we suggest you sign up as a small group. Space is limited so reserve your places early.
WHEN: Tuesday 28 November 2017, 1-4pm
WHERE: Community Law Wellington office (Level 8, 203 Willis Street)
COST: $40 (registration includes a free copy of Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti)

Read more details in the Treaty Voyages Flyer
Places are limited so register now.

It’s Independence Day

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“He Whakaputanga te matua, Te Tiriti te tamaiti.
He Whakaputanga is the parent, Te Tiriti is the child.” (Hone Sadler, Ngāpuhi)

On this day in 1835 rangatira in the north, along with British representatives gathered to sign He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (the Declaration of Independence). Its a foundational document for this country. In He Whakaputanga, the rangatira asserted their mana, rangatiratanga and independence over the northern parts of New Zealand. They stated that any foreign authority could be exercised only as they directed. They also agreed to meet annually at Waitangi for the purpose of framing laws for the purposes of justice, peace, good order, and trade. They invited hapū from southern parts of the country to join them in this (rangatira from other regions added their signatures over the following years). The Declaration was recognised by the British, French and US governments.

The independence of the hapū asserted in He Whakaputanga was affirmed in 1840 in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. As the Waitangi Tribunal recently concludedin February 1840 the rangatira who signed te Tiriti did not cede their sovereignty. That is, they did not cede their authority to make and enforce law over their people or their territories. Rather, they agreed to share power and authority with the Governor. They agreed to a relationship: one in which they and Hobson [who represented the British Crown] were to be equal – equal while having different roles and different spheres of influence. In essence, rangatira retained their authority over their hapu and territories, while Hobson was given authority to control Pākehā.’

It’s a busy day in Te Whanganui a Tara, if you are in the capital you might be heading to parliament to resist racism, or remembering the NZ Wars by attending the new exhibition at Te Papa, or attending this picnic to reflect on all the significant events of the day (extra points for doing all three!). With your spare time in between take a moment (realistically a good hour) to visit He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (the Declaration of Independence), housed at the National Library. If you’re elsewhere in the country then take time to learn more about He Whakaputanga by reading more or watching this wonderfully clear and informative kōrero by Moana Jackson.

Rā Maumahara: Remembering the New Zealand Wars

NZ Wars

Saturday 28 October is Rā Maumahara, the first national commemoration of the New Zealand Wars. Many people have worked hard to get this national day of remembrance onto the calendar. He mihi kau atu ana tēnei ki a rātou.

This day is clearly significant in terms of what is being remembered – the brutality and devastation of the colonists’ attacks on tangata whenua, the dispossession and impoverishment of tangata whenua that resulted from these wars, and the enduring impacts of these events.

This first Rā Maumahara is also significant in that finally, 145 years since the end of the wars, we have a national day of remembrance. These were defining events in the history of Aotearoa. The wars and their impacts have been present and alive within Māori society for all those years. It’s long overdue that they become part of the consciousness of all New Zealanders. This day is an important contribution to building understanding of our histories and how they shape our present.

Along with local events in various parts of the country, valuable new resources have been produced to mark Rā Maumahara. RNZ has just launched Stories of Ruapekapeka whichcaptures Māori and Pākehā views on Northland’s most infamous armed conflict.” Produced by Mihingarangi Forbes, the Stories of Ruapekapeka webpage hosts a documentary and a number of other video pieces, animations and virtual reality battle scenes.

Te Papa Tongarewa, has a new exhibition opening tomorrow. Rā Maumahara: New Zealand Wars , “explores the most explosive and sustained period of conflict in the New Zealand Wars: 1860–72.”

Scoop Review of Books is helping to mark Rā Maumahara by providing blogs on books about the wars and the Māoriland Film Festival Hub is screening The New Zealand Wars by James Belich along with hosting inspiring speakers.

So take time this Saturday to engage with the significance of this day – to look at these new resources, to listen to accounts on Māori media, to learn from, and to share with others.  Take time too to remember that 28 October is Independence Day in Aotearoa, more on that in our next post …

Treaty workshops for individuals & organisations

 

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Are you keen to develop your understanding of the Treaty and it’s application?Groundwork: Facilitating Change, in conjunction with Community Law’s Wellington Office, are offering two workshops in September.

Understanding the Treaty – One day workshop
How can we understand the Treaty of Waitangi and its history in today’s context, and how might we apply this understanding to our daily life?  Find out about the history of the Treaty—why it was written, what it says, and how we got to be where we are today. Use this knowledge to help make sense of current relationships and politics and to explore where you stand.
WHEN: 9.30am-4pm, Saturday 15 September 2018.
WHERE: Community Law Wellington office (Level 8, 203 Willis Street)
COST: $35 students/unwaged, $75 community sector, $150 private/government sector.

Treaty Voyages – Half day workshop for community organisations
Whether your voyage is well underway or you’re still contemplating how to start, this training will provide an opportunity to consider your direction and seek some wise feedback on your organisation’s questions. To get the most out of this training, we suggest you sign up as a small group. Space is limited so reserve your places early.
WHEN: Monday 24 September 2018, 1-4pm
WHERE: Community Law Wellington office (Level 8, 203 Willis Street)
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OST: $40 (registration includes a free copy of Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti)

Read more details: Treaty Workshops September 2018
These workshops fill rapidly so register now.

Racial discrimination: UN recommendations

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3 paragraphs of commendation and 33 expressing concern and recommendations in response to the New Zealand government’s action (or inaction). This is in the recently released Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on the New Zealand government’s compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. It is a telling scorecard which reflects the government’s lack of action to honour its commitments under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read Peace Movement Aotearoa’s useful summary for more details.