November 19, 2021
Crown called out for rushed settlement
The Waitangi Tribunal has called foul on a settlement with Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua which is the subject of Supreme Court action.
The $110 million settlement was signed last month after the crown sweetened the pot with another $15 million.
That’s far less than the claimants would have got if a compensation package ordered by the tribunal had not been overturned by the High Court.
Wairarapa Moana ki Pouākani Incorporation, which has a long-standing claim for taking of land near Mangakino for a dam, is appealing that decision, but the appeal will become moot if settlement legislation is rushed through.
The tribunal found against the Settlement Trust’s mandate and said the settlement process was unfair, it will exacerbate divisions in the claimant community, and it will not be durable.
The litigation that is to go before the Supreme Court in February should be allowed to take its course.
The Crown also needs to support the Settlement Trust to engage in processes to renew its mandate to settle the claims in the district.