The Treaty settlement process of the NZ government continues despite the Waikato Tainui end of the fiscal envelope looking like spilling out next year and ratcheting up the quantum of each subsequent settlement. The generational change from the initial negotiations of the late 1980s and the early 90s is upon us. Another generation emerges wondering why their elders settled for an amount of money that represents just a tiny fraction of what was lost, and why their elders signed off with only a few scraps of land being returned. The traditional owners can only be bought off for so little for so long.
The constitutional picnic
arranged by the Maori Party to discuss the Crown, a republic and the Treaty has come to naught amid the usual complacency. The future doesn't seem like a place the average NZer is keen to get to - not if it involves giving up the aspects of cultural and financial status and security they feel they are entitled to. The average settler in NZ expects no losses in any transition - not for themselves anyway. It may seem like a quiet picnic at the moment, but this is as deceptive as every other interlude between confrontation of which there have been numerous examples. It all
The settler (whether they are the descendants of those who arrived from Britain in 1840 or whether they got off the plane from China yesterday) expects the status quo will be rolled-over and continued in any relationship change between the regime and the Maori tribes, but this is predicated on two precarious assumptions. Firstly the presumption that Maori will be expected to bear immense losses and accept a permanent confiscation of their lands in any settlement outcome. Secondly that the mass immigration scheme that founded the colony and keeps the democratic power of Maori in check is viable in the long term. This scenario though widely held by the Pakeha community is unrealistic.
Here are some of my thoughts in the last few days regarding the future:
South Pacific British Settlements Act 201X (UK)
An Act to provide for transitional and residual arrangements in respect to the recognition of certain treaties made by Her Majesty's Government in connection with the protection and administration of islands and territories in the South Pacific Ocean.
New Zealand: New Zealand government
Tokelau: New Zealand government
Cook Islands: Cook Islands government
Niue: Niue government
Pitcairn: United Kingdom government
Norfolk: Australia government
Solomon Islands: Solomon Islands government
Fiji: Republic of Fiji government
Western Samoa: Samoa government
New Hebrides: Republic of Vanuatu government
Gilbert and Ellice Islands: Republic of Kiribati government
South Pacific British Settlements (New Zealand Crown Titles Redemption) Fund
Deed: Between UK and NZ governments
Beneficiaries: Whanau and hapu owners being compensated for the acquisition of their land as Crown Title. Owners of 'Freehold' Crown titles quitting and entering NZGCTRC system
Trustees: UK Treasury, NZ Treasury.
Funds: held on account in £ sterling in London
Basis of payment: NZ or UK citizen registered owner of 'freehold' Crown title and whanau and hapu owners to claim at uniform rate of £1 per acre for land area.
Distribution: NZ government to pay from own account the 'Freeholders' to surrender title, and pay the whanau and hapu owners at same time and amount on same basis. NZ govt to apply annually to SPBSF based on audited reports of area of surrendered titles.
New Zealand Government Crown Title Redemption and Conversion
Act: Governs the process of cancelling Crown title and the conversion into a system of title established by hapu and Iwi. Interacts with the SPBSF.
Crown Title: Conversion date set for all land in territory.
Claims: Any 'freeholder' is entitled to the uniform redemption price to quit the title (disbursed from the SPBSF) and the 'freeholder' may also apply for Improvement/capital value claim (ie. the financial loss on the asset of real property) is assessed as difference between current market value of 'freehold' and projected market value of the form of title after the conversion process (disbursed from the NZ Government).