Hastings journalist Mike Butler claims the Crown should receive a refund from Ngai Tahu rather than having to pay out more and more.While South Island tribe Ngai Tahu is demanding more than the $68.5 million top-up paid this year under the relativity clause of its 1998 settlement, the Government could demand the return of the $170 million paid in 1998 on the grounds that it was paid in error.
Ngai Tahu has entered arbitration with the Crown over interpretation of the clauses that detail how the relativity payment should be calculated, according to news reports. The Ngai Tahu agreement, like that of Waikato-Tainui, was reached in an environment in which the Government argued all Treaty settlements should total no more than $1 billion, with the settlement cap called a ”fiscal envelope”. The relativity clause of the Ngai Tahu settlement specified the tribe would receive 16.1% of anything paid to other tribes that exceeded $1 billion in 1994 dollars.
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