Waitangi Tribunal Urgent Hearing FAQs
– What is an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing?
An urgent hearing in the Waitangi Tribunal is one that the Tribunal has granted priority to over other claims waiting to be heard by the Tribunal. Urgent hearings are often granted to inquire into Crown actions in relation to Treaty settlement matters, given that a settlement is full and final, and often represents a wide group of people.
– How did the urgent hearing come about?
In 2017, nine applications for urgent claims were filed with the Tribunal regarding the Crown’s actions in recognising the MMTB mandate for Maniapoto. Those claims were recently granted urgency by the Tribunal so that their claims can be heard urgently and findings/recommendations presented by the Tribunal.
The claims widely relate to the inclusion of certain hapū/whānau groups within the MMTB mandate (claimant definition), the mandate process and the MMTB mandate itself
– What will happen if the Tribunal agrees with the claimants that the Crown has breached the Treaty? (incl info re another voting process may occur, what if its supported/not supported etc)
The Tribunal has the power to make findings regarding Crown breaches and recommendations. The Crown would then consider what the appropriate next steps are for implementation. What the appropriate next steps are will be wholly dependent on the Tribunal’s findings.
It is important to note that the MMTB mandate will not be withdrawn directly as a result of any potential Tribunal recommendations.
– What will happen if the Tribunal does not consider there to be any Crown breaches?
If the Tribunal ultimately finds that the Crown has complied with its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi, negotiations will likely continue on the current timeframes subject to any changes to the process proposed by the Crown. Of course, the parties will consider the Tribunal’s findings – whatever they may be – before moving forward.
– If I am already included in the Maniapoto Treaty Settlement, does this affect me?
No. At the moment, the Tribunal is hearing claims regarding the MMTB mandate generally. The Treaty settlement negotiations will continue at this stage, and the claimant definition will also remain the same.
– What if I fall under one of these claimant groups that have filed, but I haven’t been involved in this process?
The claims are brought by individual claimants, albeit many are intended as representative claims for wider groups. If you become aware that there are claims made on behalf of a hapū/rōpū that you also affiliate to, you should feel free to liaise with the claimants or MMTB to ensure any historic evidence matters can be addressed.
-How long will this process take?
No timetable has been set for the urgent hearing and the process leading up to the hearing itself. It is expected that a hearing will be held in the first half of 2019. Following that, it will be in the Tribunal’s hands to prepare a report on the urgent claims – timing for that is very uncertain.
-Will this put a stop or halt on current negotiations between MMTB and the Crown?
Not necessarily. The timing and progress of negotiations remains a matter for MMTB and the Crown to discuss and agree.
-Where are we currently at with negotiations and initialling the Deed of Settlement?
We continue to work toward the initialling of a Deed of Settlement with the Crown. At this stage, we are looking to June 2019 for the initialling (based on the outstanding matters for negotiation).
-How can I keep up to date with what is happening?
Updates regarding settlement matters in general are available on the Trust website and Facebook. Registered iwi members will also receive regular ePānui and notices of significant changes and/or upcoming hui.
We encourage all iwi members to follow MMTB through these avenues and ensure your contact details are up to date so that we can keep you informed.
-Where do I find information on the Maniapoto Settlement and what we have achieved so far?
The MMTB website includes details of the settlement and supporting documents, which you can check out here. The Crown website, https://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/maniapoto/, also includes key settlement documents signed to date, including the Agreement in Principle. The Agreement in Principle is a significant document which outlines the redress agreed between the parties for inclusion in the settlement.
If you have any queries or pātai, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org