There are regular news reports about claimant groups throughout the country entering and moving through the Treaty settlement process… all with a view to negotiating the best settlement package possible for their claimant group.  Is your group one of them?

Getting started on the negotiations path requires preparation. The following are some key tips to assist your group.  You need to:

  • Have a claim registered with the Waitangi Tribunal.
  • Meet the Crown’s criteria for comprehensive negotiations.
  • Prepare for obtaining a mandate for your claimant community which will ultimately be recognised by the Crown.
  • Have relevant research available demonstrating the Treaty breaches that have harmed your claimant group.

Contact should then be made with the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti or via the office of the Minister for Treaty Settlement negotiations.

It is important that you seek advice from those with expertise with Treaty Settlements. Negotiations experience is different to pursuing your claims before the Waitangi Tribunal so having key persons and advisors with negotiations experience is an advantage.

The Negotiations process involves a number of important aspects including the following:

  • Negotiating Cultural redress (this includes recognition of your spiritual, cultural, historical and traditional associations within your rohe).
  • Negotiating Financial and Commercial redress (this includes cash quantum, Commercial properties, Crown Forestry Licensed lands etc).
  • Negotiating an agreed historical account, Crown acknowledgements and apology.
  • Dealing with a number of different Crown Agencies (i.e. Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti, Department of Conservation, Te Puni Kokiri, Internal Affairs, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment etc).
  • Dealing with Cross claimants (other claimant groups that may have competing or overlapping interests to your group).
  • Dealing with other agencies (Regional and Local councils, Te Ohu Kaimoana, relevant third parties etc).
  • Post settlement Governance Entities (a Crown requirement).
  • Tax issues (this can be very important for your group).
  • Charitable or not (this can also be very important for your group).
  • Settlement Legislation.

The value of good negotiations preparation should not be underestimated. If you would like to know more about the Negotiations process, please contact Peter Johnston on 0800 729 529.