Legal Aid is provided for many activities relating to the Waitangi Tribunal claims process.

However it is important to be aware that you cannot receive Legal Aid for settlement negotiations and associated activities, including pre-mandating negotiations and mandating processes.

Legal Aid will not cover: negotiations with the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti regarding settlement of claims; work associated with settlement, or proposals for settlement from the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti even though a claim is still before the Tribunal; or any work resulting from discussions with the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti or work initiated by the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti regarding settlement of a claim.

With Legal Aid out of the picture, knowing where funding can be received from is therefore vital to ensuring that you and your claimant group are able to work towards settling your Treaty grievances.

The Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti is the only government agency that contributes towards costs associated with settlement negotiations. Funds are provided in instalments throughout the process depending on the progress being made.

Funds can cover costs of: pre-negotiations (including obtaining a mandate –paid once mandate recognised), agreeing to terms of negotiation, formal negotiations, setting up post settlement governance entities, and ratification/confirmation of a settlement package.

The level of funding provided by the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti varies, depending on a variety of factors including your claim’s complexity, the size and spread of the claimant group, overlapping claim interests, and whether there are specific issues within the group that will need particular attention during the negotiations process.

Your claimant group may wish to supplement their funding by seeking support from bodies such as the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. The Crown Forestry Rental Trust holds and manages annual rental fees for Crown forest licensed lands. It invests the rentals and applies the interest earned on the fees to assist Maori claimants to prepare, present, and negotiate claims involving Crown forest licensed lands.