Northland iwi Ngātiwai says the Crown needs to take heed of the Waitangi Tribunal's findings regarding its handling of overlapping claims in the Pare Hauraki Treaty Settlement.
This week the tribunal released its Hauraki Settlement Overlapping Claims Inquiry report which found the Crown acted inconsistently with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by failing to undertake a sufficient overlapping claims process concerning redress offered to Hauraki iwi as part of their proposed Treaty settlement.
A collective redress deed for Pare Hauraki, a collective of 12 iwi, was signed at Parliament in August last year.
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Ngātiwai, along with Tauranga Moana iwi Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui, brought claims to the tribunal under urgency which saw a hearing held in April.
The Hauraki settlement is in the process of being enacted through legislation but the tribunal has recommended the Crown halt that process until the contested redress items have been through a proper overlapping claims process.
Ngātiwai Trust Board Treaty Claims Committee chairman Aperahama Kerepeti-Edwards said the findings were a "win for the important role of tikanga Māori in working in the Treaty negotiations space."
"If the Crown could adopt and take heed of the recommendations from the tribunal, that's a good starting point," he said.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said he accepted the tribunal's criticisms of the Crown's practices and said he intends to allow time for a further tikanga-based process to occur between iwi.
"I encourage Pare Hauraki, Tauranga Moana and Ngātiwai to use this report as a basis to get together and move forward with discussions about how to resolve overlapping interests," he said.
The tribunal said over several years the Crown failed to properly consult Ngātiwai, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāi Te Rangi and share information with the iwi over redress it was proposing to offer Hauraki.
The tribunal said iwi described being excluded from discussions over redress in which they clearly had overlapping interests.
Ngātiwai, for example, were shut out of discussions over redress on Aotea/Great Barrier Island until very late in the settlement process.
Little said the Crown wasn't perfect.
"The Crown gets it wrong – it has a history of getting it wrong – but the reason the tribunal is there is that when iwi are harmed by that, they have a chance to call the Crown out."