Binding remedies: The Ngāi Tahu Treaty settlement negotiations in a post-Haronga context
Treaty of Waitangi settlements in New Zealand have been a result of political compromise. While financial limits have been set and the relativities between settlements have been established, there has been no concrete formula. The Crown and the Maori negotiating group have sat down at the negotiating table and worked out a figure, lately under the control of the Crown. In contrast, the Waitangi Tribunal has held the potential use of binding powers since 1989 for SoE lands and Crown Forest assets, but has only used these once. Ngāi Tahu's settlement was a result of compromise, but at various points in its negotiation process it also wanted the Tribunal to use its binding powers. Within the context of the current High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions in the Mangatu and Ngāti Kahu cases, this article will explore some of Ngāi Tahu's efforts at the use of binding powers for their claims and what recent judicial backing of those powers means for settlements that have passed and the remaining settlements to come.