Guest Post: David Garrett on full and final settlement on Kiwiblog

June 11th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

A guest post by former ACT MP David Garrett:

Why Maori grievance settlements are not “full and final” –  and how  they could be.

From  the time of  its election in 2008 this government has done one thing consistently – pay out large sums of taxpayers’ money to supposedly achieve “full and final” settlements of a plethora of Maori grievances. Almost every week the galleries of Parliament are filled by one group of Maori or another who proceed to sing beautifully as the Bill settling “their” grievance, supposedly once and for all,   is passed into law. But that won’t in fact  be the end of it, and all the players know it. [read more]

7 thoughts on “David Garrett on Full and Final Settlement

  1. Why no mention of the previous ‘full and final settlements’ that there were in the 1940’s? The government have been quite careful to keep these as quiet as they can and indeed I recall as a secondary teacher in the 1990’s when there was a ra ‘information’ meeting, going to one evening meeting and being told by a guy from the Deptment of Education that the current settlements were necessary as there had not been any. When I asked(from my own limited knowledge at the time) what about the Ngai Tahu settlement of 1944 he denied all knowledge of it.difference to his it

  2. When I asked him if it would influence his attitude to the current settlements if I could prove previous settlements-he replied that it would. I have no doubt if he did find out that he was able to accomodate it in his beliefs! When the 1997 settlements were made with Tainui and Ngahi Tahu, the government of the day trumpeted the ‘fact’ that it was the only settlement made in the last 150 years. My point is that if they were not full and final then why should the settlements made now be any different?

  3. Imagine a New Zealand Roger where a coalition partner had the ability and power to put this information out for all to see. Not only that, put a stop to the extortion. Its as simple as ticking the box. 2014 is when New Zealand makes its stand.

    1. I am reminded that the Ngai Tahu settlement of 1997 was only made by the then leaders under Stephen O’Reagan saying that the 1944 settlement had been made without enough consultation with the tribe a fact hotly disputed by Whetu Tirikane who pointed out that her father had held at least 80 meetings throughout the South Island. Of course he was also a member of the wartime cabinet.In other words they were prepared to lie and denigrate their previous leaders to grab more money-and personal money as well. A scandal no matter how you look at it.

  4. Gee after reading Garretts article and myself being born in 1972 i was naive to think that this issue of the Maori being in constant battle with the govt of the day was a relatively new concept although i now realize why we are in the situation that we are.It almost seems to me now that it is breed into some Maori that this is the Maori way.When the going gets tough and the tribe or iwi need some more funds lets follow history and head of to the govt and claim that the settlement that was made 5,10,20,50 years ago was not right and the govt of the day were dealing with the wrong Maori people and that a new grievance has come to pass because of it.No wonder the govt feels they have to bow down to these tribes because history claims that seems to be the kiwi way.How many payments need to be made before the rest of the country becomes in an uproar.Or when will these iwi realize that this is a contributing factor for the country being in monetary turmoil.What i would like to know is what actually happens to the funds that are paid out?do the funds trickle down to the families that actually need assistance or does it remain in the hands of the fat cats at the top of the food chain that are so accustomed to feeding out of the bottom less trough?All important questions to be asked.

    1. You make several interesting points there Jarrod. With regard to what happens to settlement money – there are few satisfactory answers. Mostly if you ask you get told in no uncertain terms to mind your own business. An example would be the 1944 Ngai Tahu settlement. The 10,000 pounds a year at that time would have been enough if invested to have bought several farms a year. This was initially for 30 years but in the 1970’s was changed to in perpetuity and so although inflation ate into it, it was still a substantial sum.What happened to it?

  5. #2 When the 1997 Ngai Tahu settlement was being prepared there was much made in the media of the fact that tribal members were having to mortgage their houses to finance the claim-no mention then of the money that had been paid out-and indeed was still being paid! You are correct that most people have no idea about all of this and don’t appear to care. It will never stop!

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