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Waikato River Deed of Settlement
|Date:||17 December 2009|
|Sub Category:||Deed of Settlement (New Zealand)|
|Location:||North Island , Aotearoa - New Zealand|
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|Located in New Zealand's North Island, the Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand. It runs for 425 kilometers from the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu and empties into the Tasman Sea south of Auckland. The Crown has acknowledged in the Deed that for the Waikato, the Waikato River means 'the Waikato River from Te Taheke Hukahuka to the mouth and includes its waters, banks and beds (and all minerals under them) and its streams, waterways, tributaries, lakes, aquatic fisheries, vegetation and floodplains as well as its metaphysical being.'|
|Subject Matter:||Land Management | Management / Administration | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Water|
|The Waikato-Tainui Waikato River Deed of Settlement ('the Settlement' or 'the Deed') dated 17 December 2009 is the final settlement of all Waikato-Tainui's historical claims against the Crown relating to the Waikato River. The Deed records the commitment of the Crown and Waikato-Tainui to enter a new era of co-management over the Waikato River with the overarching purpose being to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations. The Deed also aims to enhance the relationship between the Crown and Waikato-Tainui and to recognise and sustain the special relationship Waikato-Tainui have with the Waikato River. |
As set out in the Deed, the following redress is provided to the Waikato-Tainui:
A Deed of Settlement is reached once a claim has been registered with the Waitangi Tribunal and has completed the settlement process of negotiation, ratification and execution, and in most circumstances, accompanied by a statute implementing the settlement. For more detailed information, see 'Deed of Settlement' below.
| Background |
The Waikato River claim arose from the Crown's raupatu (confiscation) in the 1860s which denied the rights and interests of Waikato-Tainui in the Waikato River. In 1995, a deed of settlement was reached in relation to the Raupatu claims of the Waikato-Tainui but expressly excluded the claims of the Waikato Tainui in relation to the Waikato River.
The Waikato-Tainui has a special historical and spiritual relationship with the Waikato River. This relationship lies at the heart of the Waikato-Tainui's spiritual and physical wellbeing, and tribal identity and culture. The Waikato-Tainui have a deeply felt obligation to protect the River for future generations.
Statements of senior Kiingitanga spokesmen and esteemed kuia are set out in the Deed to illustrate the importance of the Waikato River to the Waikato-Tainui.
The late kaumaatua Kamira Henry Haggie describes the River as:
'a being, a mother, complete and whole body comprising the water, the bed and the banks from its source to the sea. The life of the River and thus of the tribe is in its intactness - no limb struck from its body or the head separate from the heart.'
In 1975, Robert Te Kotahi Mahuta, who led the Kiingitanga search for justice, described the relationship as follows:
The River belongs to us just as we belong to the River. The Waikato tribe and the River are inseparable. It is a gift left to us by our ancestors and we believe we have a duty to protect that gift for future generations.
The Waikato River is also of national importance for its contribution to New Zealand's social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being.
By deed of settlement dated 22 August 2008, the Crown and the Waikato-Tainui reached an agreement in relation to the Waikato River with the overarching purpose to 'restore and protect the health and well-being of the river for future generations.' The deed provided a $210 million clean up fund and co-governance arrangements in relation to the River.
However in 2009, the Crown requested to review the arrangements made in the 2008 deed to assess whether more effective and economically efficient arrangements could be made to reach the stated objectives and purpose of the settlement. In response to the recommendations of an independent panel and in spirit of good faith, the Waikato-Tainui agreed to re-negotiate the arrangements. The revised deed streamlines the co-governance arrangement and retains the clean-up fund. The Deed superseded the 2008 deed but the Kiingitanga Accord signed between the Crown and the Waikato-Tainui on 22 August 2008 remains in full force.
Summary of Redress
Statement of significance of the Waikato River to Waikato-Tainui
Recognized by the Crown, the Deed includes a statement of significance in both English and Maori languages which will be set out in the settlement legislation.
The statement explains how the respect te mana o te awa (the spiritual authority, protective power and prestige of the Waikato River) is at the heart of the relationship between the tribe and the River. It gave them their name and thus is a source of tribal identity and sustains the people physically and spiritually.
The River is a tupuna (ancestor) of Waikato-Tainui.
The relationship between the Waikato-Tainui and the River gives rise to the Waikaito-Tainui responsibility to protect and ensure the well-being of the river.
The key aspects of the new arrangements are as follows:
The Crown acknowledgments relating to:
Legislative recognition of the vision and strategy for the Waikato River
The preceding 2008 deed established the Guardians Establishment Committed (GEC) who developed the vision and strategy for the Waikato River.
The vision and strategy as approved by the Crown and Waikato-Tainui is set out in part 1 of the schedule to the Deed.
The vision and strategy will be recognized by statute and will be:
Waikato River Authority
The settlement legislation will provide that a statutory body called the Waikato River Authority. Crown and the Waikato-Tainui will be equally represented in Waikato River Authority with one Crown member nominated by Environment Waikato and one nominated by relevant territorial authorities.
Its purpose will be to:
The Co-management arrangements include:
Recognition of Customary Activities and Cultural Harvest
The settlement legislation will provide that members of the Waikato-Tainui may carry out certain customary activities on the Waikato River. A list of authorized customary activities is included in part 7 of the schedule of this deed.
The settlement legislation will also permit the Waikato-Tainui to authorise iwi members to harvest flora material for cultural purposes in accordance with an agreed flora cultural harvest plan.
Signed in 2008, the Kiingitanga accord between Waikato-Tainui and the Crown records the joint commitments of the parties to an enhanced relationship and new ear of co-management, to support integrated co management and to protect the integrity of the settlement
The Accord includes commitments to:
The Crown's financial package
|Office of Treaty Settlement (17 December 2009) Deed of Settlement in relation to the Waikato River|
|Office of Treaty Settlement (22 August 2008) Waikato-Tainui Kiingitanga Accord|
|Christopher Finlayson (17 December 2009) Waikato River deed of settlement signed with Waikato-Tainui|
|Office of Treaty Settlements Waikato River Deed of Settlement Summary|
|The Parliament of New Zealand (2010) Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010|
|Waikato River Survey Office Plan - ( PDF)|
|Deed of Settlement (New Zealand) | Iwi (Aotearoa/New Zealand) | Maori People (Aotearoa/New Zealand) | Party to a Deed of Settlement (New Zealand) | Settlement Legislation (New Zealand)|
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