Announcement of Relativity payment

E aku titirei, e aku amo tītoko i te raki, tēnā anō tātou i roto i kā tini āhuataka o te wā, i raro i a Matariki e taukapo mai ana i te hiku o te makōroa.

I am pleased to announce that the Crown has made a payment to Ngāi Tahu as a result of our Relativity Mechanism.

The payment is for $2,600,000, and it relates to several disputes from 2012 when we first triggered the Relativity Mechanism. The Relativity Mechanism is complex and unique, and the Crown and iwi use arbitration as a way of addressing questions that arise over its correct application. This payment is a result of that process. It is worth noting that every time we have one of these arbitrations, all parties learn more about how to appropriately apply this settlement mechanism.

The Relativity Mechanism is an important part of the Ngāi Tahu settlement, as it helps to keep our settlement relative to the rest of the Waitangi Treaty claim settlements. Ngāi Tahu were one of the first iwi to settle and did so under the restraint of the now defunct Fiscal Envelope policy, which capped settlements at $1 billion. The mechanism ensures we are not disadvantaged by that. You can read our Te Karaka article Understanding Relativity to learn more about how it works.

My sincere thanks go to our CEO, Arihia Bennett, our legal team, and the team in Te Whakaariki (Strategy and Influence) for their ongoing efforts in the Relativity space. This year the trip to Te Whanganui-ā-Tara was marked with a sense of unease as the first signs of COVID-19 were coming into focus as arbitration got under way. A special acknowledgement needs to go to our kaumātua, governors and kaimahi who persevered under the circumstances. I also mihi our friends at Waikato Tainui.

Using the Relativity Mechanism, Ngāi Tahu will continue to work alongside the Crown to ensure our settlement remains fair and equitable and continues to provide benefit for our whānau in the years to come.

As always, I acknowledge all those who fought tirelessly for seven generations to ensure the resolution of Te Kerēme and in doing so created a better future for Ngāi Tahu whānui. Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us.

Nāhaku nei, i raro i kā manaakitaka o Matariki, te tohu o te tau hōu.

Lisa Tumahai