Sunday, January 20, 2013
Mike Butler: Waikato greed, double dipping
A Waikato-Tainui tribal spokesman is demanding a bigger top-up payment than the government has offered and a Waikato clan has secured a further settlement of grievances that have already had two full-and-final settlements. If anyone was in doubt, greed and double dipping appear to be part of the government’s grand scheme to atone for alleged sins of the past.
Tainui's powerbroker Tukoroirangi Morgan told the Waikato Times on December 20 that his tribe has a strong case to demand significantly more than the government offered.
Waikato-Tainui and South Island tribe Ngai Tahu have relativity clauses in their settlements allowing a percentage of all treaty settlements over $1-billion in 1994 dollars. The amount of $1-billion in 1994 dollars equates to $1.49-billion in today’s dollars, according to the Reserve Bank inflation calculator.
After the government confirmed that the relativity clauses were triggered last June, the top-up amount offered to Waikato-Tainui was $70-million. The amount Waikato-Tainui head honchos think they are entitled to is believed to be in excess of $120-million.
Waikato Tainui negotiated a 17 percent share of settlements over the $1-billion..
The grand total of settlements agreed to and mostly paid, according to details published on the Office of Treaty Settlements website and summarised at www.nzcpr.co.nz under the heading “Treaty Transparency”, was $1.89-billion to December 5, 2012. Seventeen percent of $400-million, the amount that so far exceeds the trigger amount, is $68-million.
Therefore, it would appear that the government’s offer of $70-million is not far away from the amount that may be calculated based on figures published by the Office of Treaty Settlements.
Greed, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, is “insatiate longing especially for wealth or food”.
Either Tukoroirangi Morgan is staking out a negotiating position in a bid to squeeze more money out of the government, or he has figures to prove that the Office of Treaty Settlements has grossly under-reported the actual amount paid in financial and commercial redress.
So where does the double dipping appear? NZCPR readers will know that Waikato-Tainui benefited from a full-and-final settlement of $170-million in 1995, and before that had been receiving £5000 a year as a result of the Waikato-Maniapoto Maori Claims Settlement Act that was passed on October 7, 1946, another full-and-final settlement.
Quietly, last month, a deed was signed between the government and an unknown tribal group named Ngati Koroki Kahukura that includes $3-million plus interest in financial and commercial redress and $3.73-million “cultural” funding.
Ngati Koroki Kahukura say they descend from the captain of the Tainui canoe and have a tribal territory east of Cambridge in the Waikato, according to the Office of Treaty Settlements website, making them bonafide Waikato-Tainui.
The story of this sub-tribe that claims 3500 members is the same as the Waikato story – they fought against the wicked white coloniser, lost, had lands confiscated and did not get them back because they were deemed enemies of the state.
Waikato-Tainui’s second full and final settlement of $170-million, in 1995, was to benefit members of the tribe as a whole. A legitimate question is why can a Waikato-Tainui subgroup pop up and receive a further settlement?
You would not be the first to ask that, and a number of Waikato-Tainui people have been doing just that, especially since at least one Ngati Koroki Kahukura luminary used to be high up on the Waikato-Tainui payroll.
at 9:34 AM