Treaty settlements tiny compared with other Government spending

treaty of waitangi

In the 100 years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori land and the commerce they conducted on it were devastated.

Poverty followed and the introduction of new, foreign diseases ravaged the Māori population.

Over the past 25 years, the Government and iwi across New Zealand have been working to acknowledge the historical grievances.

In most cases, there has been a measure of financial redress for Crown wrongdoing and the return of many culturally significant sites to iwi.

But the Crown says the financial element of the settlements can never fully compensate the true value of loss in many claims.

In particular, those where large areas of land were confiscated and then settled.

So far, there have been 73 settlements with the Crown passed into law.

There are a further 11 settlements that have been agreed but are either awaiting the rubber stamp from Parliament or have failed to pass the final hurdle of Parliament.

The total value of all finalised settlements is $2.2 billion.

While that may seem like a lot of money, it’s worth considering some other similar Government expenses for context: In just the next 12 months, the Government will spend (excluding capital investment) about $87b.

One of the biggest outgoings is superannuation at $14b.

The entire value of Treaty settlements over the past quarter of a century would cover super payments for two months. Continue reading

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