A Long Time Coming The Story of Ngai Tahu’s Treaty Settlement Negotiations with the Crown

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2020-12-28
Publisher(s): Canterbury University Press
List Price: $28.75

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The Ngai Tahu settlement, like all other Treaty of Waitangi settlements in Aotearoa New Zealand, was more a product of political compromise and expediency than measured justice. The Ngai Tahu claim, Te Kereme, spanned two centuries, from the first letter of protest to the Crown in 1849 to the final hearing by the Waitangi Tribunal between 1987 and 1989, and then the settlement in 1998. The intense negotiations between the two parties, Ngai Tahu and the Crown, were led by Tipene O’Regan and the Minister of Treaty Negotiations Doug Graham. The Ngai Tahu team had to answer to the communities back home and iwi members around the country. Most were strongly supportive, but others attacked them at hui, on the marae, and in the media, courts, and Parliament. Graham and his officials, too, had to answer to their political masters. And the general public—interested Pakeha, conservationists, farmers, and others—had their own opinions. In this measured, comprehensive, and readable account, Martin Fisher shows how, amid such strong internal and external pressures, the two sides somehow managed to negotiate one of the country’s longest legal documents.

Author Biography

Martin Fisher has a BA (Hons) from the University of Otago, an MA from McGill University, and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, all in history. Martin worked as an academic tutor for a range of courses in history, political studies, and management. He worked in the Treaty of Waitangi claims process, first as a researcher for the Office of Treaty Settlements and the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, and then from 2012 to 2014 as a research analyst/inquiry facilitator at the Waitangi Tribunal. He joined the Ngai Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury as a lecturer in 2014.

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