Back to search results

printable versionPrint this page

Ngai Tahu Deed of Settlement

Date: 29 November 1998
Sub Category:Deed of Settlement (New Zealand)
Place:South Island
State/Country:Aotearoa - New Zealand
  • ($170000000)
  • Subject Matter: | Compensation | Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Environmental Heritage | Health and Community Services | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Reconciliation
    Summary Information:
    The Ngai Tahu Settlement is a settlement of the Ngai Tahu tribe's long standing Treaty Claim dating back to the nineteenth century.

    Negotiations which commenced in September 1991 broke down in 1994. They resumed again in February 1996 and a Deed of 'On Account' Settlement between the Ngai Tahu tribe and the Crown was signed in June that year followed by the signing of Heads of Agreement in October 1996.

    The Ngai Tahu Settlement provided for three phases:
  • The Deed of 'On Account' Settlement of 14 June 1996 giving the Ngai Tahu $10 million, and the vesting in the Ngai Tahu people of Pounamu (greenstone) and of Tutaepatu Lagoon (Woodend Lagoon), neither of which was dependent on final acceptance of the settlement;
  • A $10 million (non-refundable) payment on signing of the Deed of Settlement which took place on the 29 November 1998; and
  • Other comprehensive terms of settlement contained in a Settlement Offer of 23 September 1997.

    Following the 1997 Crown settlement offer, a ballot was held of all Ngai Tahu people which gave a mandate for their governing body Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (given legal identify by the Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Act of April 1996) to sign the Deed of Settlement in November 1998. The New Zealand Parliament subsequently passed legislation ratifying the settlement.

  • Detailed Information:
    The Settlement Offer of 23 September contained the following provisions:
  • An apology. This was fundamental to the settlement, acknowledging the validity of claims the Ngai Tahu people have made over seven generations. These claims encompassed virtually the whole of the South Island. The apology is seen by Ngai Tahu people as the first step in their healing process.
  • Return of title to Aoraki, a mountain of special significance and relationship to Ngai Tahu people. Return of title confirms that special relationship and all that the mountain represents to the Ngai Tahu. It also asserts the commitment of Ngai Tahu and the Crown to the Treaty partnership. Ngai Tahu are to gift back Aoraki to the people of New Zealand as a symbol of their commitment to co-manage with the Crown areas of historical, cultural and conservation value. The mountain will be re-named 'Aoraki/Mount Cook'.
  • Economic redress, totaling $170 million cash plus the right to buy certain Crown assets. This will provide an economic base for Ngai Tahu social and cultural development. Economic redress also includes a 'Relativity Clause' to ensure Ngai Tahu's relative economic position in relation to other tribes, should settlement with other tribes collectively exceed $1 billion.
  • Cultural redress. This redress is designed to restore Ngai Tahu cultural and spiritual responsibilities for their land. This includes: returning ownership of Pounamu (greenstone), by way of legislation; granting of title to three High Country Stations, up to 90% of which land will be either gifted back to the nation or leased back in perpetuity for conservation purposes; various mechanisms for ownership and/or control by Ngai Tahu over specific sites (Arahura Valley, Rarotoka, Whenua Hou, Crown Titi Islands, Tutaepatu (Woodend Lagoon) and a further 41 areas of land including sacred sites and special places; change of English place names to include Maori names; provision of temporary campsites adjacent to lakes and rivers in order to facilitate customary fishing and gathering of other natural resources; site and species specific management roles for Ngai Tahu in relation to management and conservation of fish and birds; a range of non-specific advisory/membership/review roles designed to enhance the relationship between Ngai Tahu and the Department of Conservation; Ngai Tahu to have input into review and improvement of resource management and heritage protection legislation and agencies.
  • Non-Tribal redress. This includes redress for the many private claims of individual Ngai Tahu that were separate to the collective Ngai Tahu claim.

    Various legal mechanisms will be used to effect the settlement provisions that acknowledge the interests of Ngai Tahu, the Government and the wider public. These include:
  • Transfer of freehold title, sometimes with conservation values and public access protected by covenants and other legal mechanisms.
  • Long term leases granted to Ngai Tahu at peppercorn rental.
  • Vesting of land in Ngai Tahu, to be controlled and managed as Reserves, sometimes with a significant role being retained by the Department of Conservation.

  • Related Entries

  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Organisation
  • Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu - Signatory
  • Office of Treaty Settlements
  • New Zealand Government
  • Legislation
  • Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Act 1996
  • Ngai Tahu (Pounamu Vesting) Act 1997 (NZ)
  • Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 (NZ)
  • Ngai Tahu (Tutaepatu Lagoon Vesting) Act 1998 (NZ)
  • People
  • Ngai Tahu
  • Sir Tipene O'Regan
  • Case Law
  • Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board v Director-General of Conservation [1995] 3 N.Z.L.R. 553

  • Glossary

    Agreement in Principle / Heads of Agreement (New Zealand) | Governance Entity (New Zealand) | Deed of Settlement (New Zealand) | Settlement Legislation (New Zealand)

    Top of page

    Was this useful? Click here to fill in the ATNS survey