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BNZ launches $50 million fund to aid Treaty of Waitangi settlements

BNZ has announced a $50 million fund to help bridge the shortfalls for iwi and hapu through their Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

BNZ expects its funding, along with advice from its Māori business team, to help unlock an estimated $1.5 billion worth of existing Treaty claims.

Approximately half of iwi have received a Treaty of Waitangi settlement but, for the remaining 60-plus claimants, there is a need for funding assistance and good financial advice to help get them through the settlement process, says Pierre Tohe, head of Maori business at BNZ.

“With the time between mandate and final settlement, which can take between three and seven years, many iwi can’t afford the continued costs of the process, meaning many settlements are delayed or deferred,” he says in a statement.

Mr Tohe says that if iwi are successful in contributing to the economy as well as increasing the health, well-being and education of their people the whole country stands to gain.

“Māori are a growing economic force with an estimated $37 billion in assets, a growing population and the appetite to invest in long-term sustainable growth projects in New Zealand,” Mr Tohe says.

The recently announced fund is part of a wider move for BNZ, which is increasing efforts to help iwi with their finances.

Last year the bank released a white paper targeting Māori organisations, which highlights best practices for portfolio management. These organisations often experience competing objectives of providing intergenerational fairness via distribution of benefits, while achieving stable income to fund strong wealth creation, according to a BNZ statement.

The bank has also launched a Māori cadetship programme beginning next year, where 10 Māori cadets will gain work experience at the bank.

Comments and questions

And how much profit is BNZ going to make on this "investment" to fleece the taxpayers (again) ?

Exactly, the banks will screw you worse than the government.

Congratulations to BNZ, this move has shown up many of the other key players. Curious about the comment by Mr Tohe about settlements improving well being, education and health of Maori in general, in light of comments by no less than Professor Ranginui Walker that they largely benefit a "brown elite".

Dont fall into this trap Iwi.

These banks are only helping themselves, and potentially exposing iwi to 'not to be trusted' bankers.

A bank will never do things for altruistic reasons, its purpose it to extract as much profit as it can, what would really help Maori is a micro financing model

Then let the successful claimants fund this from their settlements!!

What a disgraceful business. Tthe NZ has now entered the political arena, and is diverting bank funds away from its core business,

Not only are many of these opportunistic claims now simply rorts, but taxpayers have been bled dry for years by being required by the government to finance claims against the government.

the Maori economy now stands at $37 billion, and the financing of any more raids on taxpayers should be paid for from Maori interests' own pockets.

This is one of the biggest instances of corruption that the country has had to endure these recent decades - with hundreds of millions now accumulatively paid out for claims that are simply alleged, not proven - where the Crown law office has been utterly inadequate and where nobody is representing the interests of New Zealanders as a whole.

The Ngai Tahu settlement, for example, aided bynow Minister of Treaty negotiations Chris Finalyson, should never have been paid out. It was well described at the time as a swindkle, and this greed y tribe has been at it ever since.

Meantime really needy areas such as hospital funding, mental health services, support for the young and so on are desperately short, as a result of this shameful deal making supported by vote-seeking governments that lack integrity.

well said, I wholeheartedly agree with you

This is just like the white man taking blankets and beads, but this time its fund manager fees. As a Maori I don't like seeking this bro.