Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today announced next steps for the Crown in response to Whakatōhea’s vote last year on the future of their Treaty claims.
The Whakatōhea vote resulted in a narrow majority supporting the Whakatōhea Pre-Settlement Claim Trust (the Trust) continuing to negotiate a settlement with the Crown and a significant minority voting for a Waitangi Tribunal inquiry into the historical claims of Whakatōhea.
“Firstly, having had time to consider the vote, the outcome was finely balanced. I think the results show too much support for the Trust for the Crown to walk away, but clearly the results raise some important issues that need to be addressed before any decisions about resuming negotiations can be made” says Andrew Little.
“I’ve asked officials to consider the Tribunal inquiry. There could be an historical inquiry process parallel to, or subsequent to, negotiations.
“I intend to explore this possibility and other options for building support before deciding whether to resume negotiations,” says Andrew Little.
The Minister also acknowledged the Trust and the hard work they have done in facilitating the voting process recommended by the Waitangi Tribunal and all those members of Whakatōhea who participated.