The 2009 Central North Island (CNI) Forests Iwi Collective Settlement is unique in Aotearoa.
In previous Treaty settlements, the government decided what land would be returned to iwi. In the CNI process, iwi made these decisions, which empowered leaders to act in the best interests of their people.
The accumulated rentals, or ‘cash’ portion of the CNI Forests Collective Settlement came to approximately NZ $250 million and the forest land was transferred to an entity called CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd on 1 July 2009. From there it was transferred to the individual iwi Post Settlement Governance Entities (PSGEs) using agreed financial proportions that had been part of the Deed of Settlement.
The eight iwi involved in the settlement (known as the Collective) had to identify, discuss and agree on their mana whenua interests.
The Collective members are Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa, Raukawa, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Rangitihi.
Following negotiations, Ngāti Tūwharetoa received:
- A payment of $66m of accumulated rentals, with approximately $29m for the associated forest hapū
- 25.9% of annual Crown Licence fees until the year 2043
- An equal shareholding in CNIIHL (the company holds 176,000ha of the CNI forest land, with the actual land holding by iwi to be determined by mana whenua)
- A share of three million NZUs (carbon credits)
- Preferential rights to buy certain Crown assets (DSP)
TST holds the settlement funds for Ngāti Tūwharetoa in trust for the Forest Hāpu Clusters and has a diversity of investment portfolios.