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Legislation - making the settlement law

When the terms of a settlement have been agreed on, Parliament will pass a law to make it legally binding.

The Treaty of Waitangi pages are moving

From 28 November 2023 these pages will move to their new home on the Te Arawhiti website — Te Kāhui Whakatau (Treaty Settlements).

Getting the legislation passed

Once the Deed of Settlement is signed and the Post Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE) is voted in, Parliament will pass a law to:

  • confirm that the settlement is final, and
  • make the settlement legally binding.

The legislation is usually written at the same time as the Deed of Settlement. This is so that your representatives and the Crown can check that the legislation covers everything they agreed to in the Deed. 

Once your representatives and the Crown agree that it’s ready: 

  1. The legislation is introduced to Parliament as a Bill for its first reading. All Members of Parliament vote on the legislation.
  2. A Select Committee will review the legislation. Anyone who wants to, like other claimant groups or members of the public, can make a submission to the Select Committee about it. After the Select Committee has considered the legislation and the submissions, they’ll send it back to Parliament for a second reading together with any recommendations they have for amending the legislation.  
  3. Parliament does a second reading of the legislation.
  4. Parliament reads the legislation a third time — this is when the legislation is officially passed. It’s an important, historic event, and members of the claimant group can go to Parliament to watch this happen.
  5. The Governor General gives the legislation “royal assent”. The claimant group will get a letter confirming that the Settlement Act has been passed into law and the Deed of Settlement is now unconditional. 

The requirements of the Settlement Act and Deed begin on the settlement date, usually 40 working days after the Act passed into law. The redress package will then be passed to your PSGE and the historical claims will be settled.

Who’s involved

The claimant group, Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS), and Parliament.

During this part of the settlement process, anyone in the claimant group can:

  • make a submission to the Select Committee about the legislation
  • go to Parliament when the legislation is being passed.

OTS will work with the Select Committee while the legislation is being heard. They’ll:

  • brief the Select Committee on what the legislation is about
  • provide reports and answer any questions that the committee have
  • look at any public submissions and report on them to the committee.

To pass the settlement into law, Parliament:

  • reads the legislation for the settlement
  • votes on the legislation.

Staying informed

You’ll be kept up to date with pānui, and you can also check to see if your claimant group has a website or a Facebook page where you can get updates.

If you want to check where your Bill has got to in Parliament, you can find out from the New Zealand Parliament website.

Check your Bill on the New Zealand Parliament website

Next steps

Your PSGE will:

  • work with the government agencies who have commitments to your claimant group
  • make sure that the group’s assets are used to benefit everyone.

Utility links and page information

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