Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has announced a new $150 million Crown investment fund to cover Ngāpuhi Treaty negotiations.
Little said it would be operated by the Crown for the benefit of Ngāpuhi.
The purpose would be to make a return on the money while long-running, and delayed, negotiations continue with the hapū of the northern iwi.
Once negotiations are completed the hapū could “deal with the fund in whatever way they want”.
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Andrew Little announces $150 million Crown investment fund for Nga Puhi
It was not the total value of the settlement, he said.
“But it is a proportion of that and it just means that although there’s going to be further delay in reaching agreement, eventually Ngāpuhi is not losing the benefit of having some value invested, generating new and more value … for the hapū of Ngāpuhi.”
It comes after the Government announced in December 2019 that it would negotiate with hapū, or sub-tribes, of the iwi rather than a collective agreement for the entire tribe.
This change, based on the wishes of some hapū, came after negotiations had already run for about 10 years.
Little said “groupings are coming together” within the tribe to start negotiations within the next few months.
“I think the reality is, as I’ve learned through my engagement with Ngāpuhi, is that actually doing it right is absolutely vital, and respecting hapū rangatiratanga.”
Little said the 25 per cent of the income generated each year by the fund would go towards things like scholarships, hapū development and marae improvements within the iwi.
“But the main idea is to accumulate value – so 75 per cent will be reinvested through the fund.”
The chairman of the directors of the fund will be Sir Brian Roche, who is the chief crown negotiator with Ngāpuhi, and other directors include Ripeka Evans, Lindsay Faithfull, and Sarah Petersen.
MORE TO COME.