The Cultural Redress elements of the Crown’s Settlement Offer were aimed at restoring the ability of Ngāi Tahu to give practical effect to its kaitiaki responsibilities.
Ngāi Tahu has a strong cultural and spiritual relationship with the natural environment. Tikanga (customs) relating to the use and management of natural resources are an essential part of the unique culture and identity which define us as an iwi. Our ability to exercise effectively our role as kaitiaki of the environment has been dramatically eroded in the last 150 years.
The Cultural Redress elements of the Crown’s Settlement Offer were aimed at restoring our ability to give practical effect to our kaitiaki responsibilities. These elements represent outcomes that could only be achieved through a negotiated settlement. The redress in this section sets this offer apart from any previous Treaty of Waitangi settlement and in many cases involves completely new mechanisms and ideas that have been developed out of the negotiations process.
Q: Did the Crown’s Settlement Offer extinguish Aboriginal title or Customary rights?
A: The redress contained in the Crown’s Settlement Offer was in satisfaction of Ngāi Tahu’s tribal and private historical claims for breaches of the Treaty, where those losses arose before 21 September 1992. This includes the Wai 27 claim and other claims to the Waitangi Tribunal and these claims cannot again be taken to the Courts or the Waitangi Tribunal. All other Aboriginal and Customary rights held by Ngāi Tahu at the time of the Settlement would continue unaffected by the Settlement.
Q: How are things like wāhi tapu and mahinga kai relevant to Ngāi Tahu’s development in the 1990s and beyond?
A: Ngāi Tahu’s enduring relationship with its taonga and the environment is an integral part of our identity as an iwi. The passage of time makes this relationship no less relevant today than it was 150 years ago. The opportunities which this Cultural Redress package provides will allow tribal members to re-establish a relationship with the areas, resources and management philosophies that were important to our tipuna.