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Ed Sheeran

Crown agencies undermine settlements

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A former crown negotiator is accusing government agencies of reneging on an agreement he was part of.

In his chapter of a new book on the settlement process, The Treaty on the Ground, Michael Dreaver praises the passion Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson has brought to the task, but says worrying signs are emerging.

Mr Dreaver, who  resigned as chief negotiator for the Tamaki Makaurau claims, says the settlement he negotiated with Te Kawerau a Maki and Ngati Whatua o Kaipara hinged on the iwi getting an option to jointly purchase surplus Paremoremo prison land.

Within weeks of the commitment coming in to force, Corrections said it didn’t want to sell the land at all.

In another case, the Office of Treaty Settlements pulled the plug on negotiations with Ngati Tamaoho after an agreement in principle was signed.

Since then the value of its settlement package has halved because of land price inflation.

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