Announcement of Relativity payment

Tēnā koutou katoa, i runga i a Matariki kua tau nei, he kōrero whakahirahira e whai ake nei e ngā uri o Tahu Pōtiki – Aoraki matatū!

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 $1.2 million, and it relates to a dispute from 2012 when we first underwent arbitration with the Crown. 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.

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 abandoned Fiscal Envelope policy, which capped settlements to $1 billion. The Mechanism ensures that we are not disadvantaged by that.

My sincere thanks go to our CEO, Arihia Bennett, and the team in Te Whakaariki (Strategy & Influence) for their ongoing mahi in regard to Relativity. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say your efforts are greatly valued. A huge thank you as well to the kaumātua and governors who travelled to Wellington to support this kaupapa, and to our friends from Waikato Tainui who are on this journey with us.

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. If you would like to know more about the Relativity Mechanism, there is a comprehensive article in Te Karaka by Chris Brankin on this kaupapa.

In closing, I wish to acknowledge all those who fought tirelessly to ensure the resolution of Te Kerēme. You have helped to establish a better future for Ngāi Tahu. Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.

Lisa Tumahai