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 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.


Anonymous said...
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Tainui never signed the Treaty, so could someone please tell me how they are entitled to a Treaty settlement?

The preamble to the 1946 Waikato-Maniapoto Settlement Claims Act 1946 reads: "The purpose of this Act is to effect a full an final settlement of ..."

Someone ought to have pointed out Tainui were statute-barred from having another crack at the Crown.

There is an interesting thesis in the Auckland University Library, which examines the basis of the raupatu confiscations which occurred once the Crown overcame the Tainui "rebellion."

These confiscations were not undertaken to "deny Tainui an economic base" as the biased, revisionist Waitangi Tribunal invariably suggests in these matters.

Firstly, nobody was turned off land they identfiably occupied or cultivated.

Secondly, the primary purpose of the confiscations was to create a buffer zone between Tainui territory and Auckland as a safeguuard against renewed hostilities by Tainui.

Smallholding farmers with military experience were granted an acreage of land which they were required to clear and farm for several years, at the end of which freehold title was to pass to them.

This land was taken not because it was cleared farmland requiring only white settlement and the application of modern farming techniques to be profitable, but for its strategic potential.

Much of this land was covered in thick bush requiring intensive clearing, or was raupo-covered swampland requiring backbreaking clearance and extensive drainage in order to make it farmable.

The thesis found that in most cases, the task of bringing the land into arable farmland proved well beyond family labour. Many settlers in fact walked away well before the land was to become theirs, leaving their interests to be bought up by large Auckland-based speculators, who could afford to expend the labour and capital required to bring the land into productive use.

Tainui claims they "lost" some of the most productive farmland in the country are thus arrant nonsense. It only became productive because of the labour and capital of the white man.

For Tainui to claim the added value of this land is thus an unearned increment -- even more so because of value added by the community as a whole in terms of providing infrastructure such as roading, utilities, and flood control systems to the region.

Unknown said...
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I remember reading, two or three years ago that the Arawa Tribe/Iwi in Rotorua had negotiated a new Waitangi Tribunal settlement, because their 1912 settlement "only" provided a grant of 12,000 pounds per year!

Now I admit my calculations are un-researched, but I am guessing that a nice 3 or 4 bedroom house with land could be bought in 1912 for around 250 pounds in Rotorua, maybe less?

So, if I'm right, Arawa could have bought 48 houses in 1912 and another 48 in 1913 and so-on. By now, if the income at modest rentals had been prudently invested, they would own most of Rotorua and a good deal of property beyond. If that occurred they wouldn't need another hand-out. If it didn't occur and the money was piddled away, why should the long-suffering Pakeha have to underwrite Maori stupidity?

Barry said...
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I blame John Key for all of this. By now he and the other MPs should have had all claiming stopped and all payouts stopped. They should have done whatever was needed to do this.

Anonymous said...
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Maori don't want asset sales apparently which could raise as much as $6 billion BUT settlements will cost in total about $6 billion.
Solution stop all settlement monies
Bill M

Peter said...
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No good blaming John Key.The problem is looking at you in the mirror each morning.The electorate keeps voting in these mediocre power crazy egos on legs that political parties keep putting up in front of them. Find a decent person in your community with the right stuff and encourage them to represent your electorate.Then we might see the equivalent of a political allblacks not the equivilant of an under 17`s third social team we have now. Until New Zealanders can get out of their lazy boys, put down their chips and beer and turn the rugby and unreality TV off and pay attention to who they are voting for once every three years, don`t look for change any time soon. To elect a currency trading, speculator banker and an obvious new world order plant as your prime minister in the middle of a world financial crisis created by those scum should be in the Guiness book of records as the stupidest,naive thing ever done by an electorate on earth.Get off your backside and change it next election by convincing people you know to stop voting for party politicians. Ask them "Why do we need political parties?" This is where all the devisive problems eminate from in governments world wide

Anonymous said...
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Peter, you are on the button. I currently have no one to vote for - there is absolutely no party that offers real solutions to the major problems NZ is facing. So are independents the way to go??? Maybe, as long as we don't end up with more like Dunne who will agree to anything as long as his job/pay packet is secure.

Anonymous said...
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Mike do you know where the thesis mentioned in the first comment is and the name of author.

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