I leave office today grateful for the opportunities given to me in the last nine years and filled with optimism for the future of the country.
During my term as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, 59 Deeds of Settlement have been signed meaning the majority of historical Treaty settlements across New Zealand have now been resolved. I want to thank the iwi and communities I have worked with around the country on these important milestones which provide the opportunity for a much brighter future for iwi.
Taking an innovative approach to settlements has been a particular focus of mine. For example, giving legal personhood to Te Urewera and the Whanganui River has resulted in long overdue settlements. I acknowledge the work of those iwi and my Crown Negotiator John Wood, who worked so hard to achieve what a few years ago would have been considered unthinkable.
I would have concluded many more settlements had it not been for internal and inter-tribal disputes, particularly over areas of interest. This has disappointed me because settlements with a neighbouring iwi should not be an occasion to re-litigate history. In this final phase of settlements, I hope some iwi will work more constructively on these issues.
Parliament has taken a constructive and bipartisan approach to Treaty settlements and I hope this will continue. A number of deeds were initialled (Ngāti Rangi and Ngāti Paoa, Ngaati Whanaunga, Ngāti Maru (Hauraki), Te Patukirikiri and Ngāti Tamaterā) just prior to the election period and I look forward to these deeds being signed by the new Government very shortly. Once the current work is concluded, there will be fewer than ten negotiations left to begin.
Another particular highlight was delivering the long overdue apology to the Parihaka community for the atrocious actions of the Crown committed almost 140 years ago.
I also hope that the Post Settlement Commitments Unit, established in 2013, will continue to be strengthened. It is vital for all of New Zealand that settlements remain full, final and durable. This office will grow in importance in the years ahead.
For the last three years I have been the Minister Responsible for the GCSB and the Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service (until my appointment these portfolios had always been held by the Prime Minister of the day). This experience has shown me how critical it is to remain vigilant against threats such as cyberterrorism and violent extremism. It is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of any government.
Our agencies are now well-equipped to meet these threats. They received a significant funding boost in Budget 2016 to ensure they have the proper resources. In addition, after receiving almost unanimous support in the House, the Intelligence and Security Act 2017 came into force on 28 September providing the agencies with a legal framework which enhances the security of the country and protects the rights of all New Zealanders. The legislation clearly sets out the agencies’ powers, establishes a new warranting framework and builds on the robust oversight and accountability of the agencies.
I wish my successors Kelvin Davis, Andrew Little and David Parker the very best for the future.
Deeds of Settlement signed under the National Government (2008 – 2017)
1. Whanganui On-Account 31/07/2009
2. Ngāti Whare 8/12/2009
3. Ngāti Manawa 12/12/2009
4. Ngāti Raukawa (River) 17/12/2009
5. Waikato Tainui (River claim) 17/12/2009
6. Upper Waikato River Iwi 9/03/2010
7. Ngāti Tūwharetoa (River interests) 31/05/2010
8. Ngāti Maniapoto (Waipa River) 27/09/2010
9. Ngāti Kuia (Kurahaupo) 23/10/2010
10. Ngāti Apa ki te Ra To (Kurahaupō) 29/10/2010
11. Rangitane o Wairau (Kurahaupō) 4/12/2010
12. Ngāti Pāhauwera 17/12/2010
13. Ngāti Porou 22/12/2010
14. Ngāi Tamanuhiri 5/03/2011
15. Maraeroa A and B Block Settlement 12/03/2011
16. Ngāti Mākino 2/04/2011
17. Ngāti Manuhiri 21/05/2011
18. Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara 9/09/2011
19. Waitaha 20/09/2011
20. Rongowhakaata 30/09/2011
21. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei 5/11/2011
22. Te Aupōuri 28/01/2012
23. Ngāti Raukawa 2/06/2012
24. Ngāti Ranginui 21/06/2012
25. Tāmaki Collective 8/09/2012
26. NgāiTakoto 27/10/2012
27. Te Rarawa 28/10/2012
28. Ngāti Toa Rangātira 7/12/2012
29. Ngāti Rangiweweh i16/12/2012
30. Tapuika 16/12/2012
31. Ngāti Koroki Kahukura 20/12/2012
32. Ngāti Koata 21/12/2012
33. Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Maui 21/12/2012
34. Ngāti Pūkenga 7/04/2013
35. Ngāti Rarua 13/04/2013
36. Ngāti Tama ki Te Tau Ihu 20/04/2013
37. Maungaharuru Tangitū Hapū 25/05/2013
38. Ngāi Tūhoe 4/06/2013
39. Ngāti Rangiteaorere 14/06/2013
40. Ngāti Hauā 18/07/2013
41. Ngāi Te Rangi 14/12/2013
42. Ngāti Kuri 7/02/2014
43. Te Kawerau ā Maki 22/02/2014
44. Ngāruahine 5/08/2014
45. Whanganui River 9/08/2014
46. Te Atiawa (Taranaki) 9/08/2014
47. Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective 21/01/2015
48. Ngāti Hineuru 2/04/2015
49. Taranaki Iwi 5/09/2015
50. Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga Tamatea 26/09/2015
51. Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki 7/11/2015
52. Rangitāne o Manawatū 14/11/2015
53. Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa 18/12/2015
54. Rangitāne o Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua 6/08/2016
55. Ahuriri Hapū 2/11/2016
56. Te Wairoa 26/11/2016
57. Ngāti Tamaoho 30/04/2017
58. Ngāti Tūwharetoa 8/07/2017
59. Ngāti Hei 17/08/2017