Thursday, September 13, 2012

Full And Final: Explanation

When outrageously large settlements first began to be awarded to hard-done-by maori tribes via Treaty of Waitangi negotiations, the country was assured there would be no come-backs. The govt was adamant these were "full and final settlements".
Now Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has confirmed the govt is about to make 'top-up' payments worth tens of millions of dollars to two of the country's biggest tribes after its deal with Tuhoe
Te Tiriti: selling NZ short...
last Monday!
Under a deal done by the 1990s National Govt, Tainui and Ngai Tahu get top-ups to their Treaty settlements once the cost of all other settlements passes $1b: the Crown's within roughly $30 million of that threshold.
Roughly speaking, the Tainui and Ngai Tahu tribes get additions worth around 33% of every settlement done over the $1b threshold! In the case of the Tuhoe settlement, that would be around $56 million (based on Tuhoe's $170 million cash deal), assuming the $1b envelope has already been reached by the time they sign. The amount could be even higher depending on what is included in the calculation...AND it will keep being re-assessed every five years! Both tribes received around $170 million each in the 1990s to settle their Treaty grievances: shouldn't that be an end to it?
Mr Finlayson said it's not possible to estimate how much Treaty settlements could eventually cost. But there are still some big deals in the pipeline potentially worth at least as much as Monday's Tuhoe deal.
So not only does te Tiriti gravytrain score big on "full and final settlements" for each tribe, but it then morphs into the "water" gravytrain (and for good measure, let's try the "air" gravytrain) before revealing another ugly chapter in our race relations - that in order to actually get Tainui and Ngai Tahu to the negotiating table in the first place, the National govt of the day quietly slipped in one helluva sweetener: multi-million dollar top-ups! AND these keep getting re-assessed too!!
Which part of "full and final settlement" am I not understanding?

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