Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson breathlessly announces another huge payout to so called Maori. Whereas there’s an inwritten assumption that “we’re all glad that Chris Finlayson has solved the problem”, I can’t share that feeling. There is no explanation as to why the agreement was necessary. Nothing said about the hearing itself, the defense case (did one even exist???) or the prosecution case. Nothing to explain exactly what we (the taxpayer) did for which Chris Finlayson is apologising so profusely. Nothing to explain how the enormous amount of $16 million cash was arrived at. The Government press release goes on –
“The claims of Ngāti Apa (North Island) relate primarily to breaches by the Crown of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi relating to the purchase in 1849 of the 260,000 acre Rangitikei-Turakina block. The cultural redress of this settlement includes 12 Crown sites transferred as well as statutory acknowledgments, deeds of recognition and place name changes provided to Ngāti Apa in recognition of their association with sites within their area of interest.
The settlement also provides Ngāti Apa iwi an opportunity for cultural revitalisation through the gifting of papakainga properties and funding to implement a cultural redevelopment plan including programmes that cover such areas as te reo. The financial and commercial redress in the settlement includes a cash payment of $16 million, a right of first refusal to buy Crown properties and an ability to purchase licensed Crown forest land and receive associated rentals.
Then it finishes off with this load of meaningless PC crap
“As part of this settlement the Crown apologises to Ngāti Apa for past dealings that breached the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi,”The Crown can never fully compensate Ngāti Apa for its losses and dispossession, but through the Settlement in this Bill, we can provide the means for them to move forward to achieve their vision for a dynamic future”.
This is completely insufficient. There should be a detailed explanation as to why the settlement was necessary, a description of the case for Maori and a description of the case for the crown. There needs to be a fair analysis of how the compensation figure was arrived at. There needs to be a full evaluation of what this agreement has cost the taxpayer to date and what it will cost in the future.
This press release is just worthless crap and the taxpayers of NZ deserve a lot more. Otherwise this just looks like a bunch of weak politicians, racist cronyists and self serving charlatans working the system and ripping off the taxpayer. Of course we all know that would never be the case. (Yeah right) but in times of “open and accessible government” it would be nice to be able to see for ourselves what the real story is here.