The Government is paying former Cabinet Ministers hundreds of thousands of dollars to help it negotiate treaty settlements.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has [provided a breakdown on how it has spent $7.8 million since it won office in 2008 on Treaty negotiators.

Some well-known private sector figures like consultant Ross Philippson and Dame Patsy Reddy have been among the highest paid non-political figures.

But the private sector figures listed in the payments schedule all tend to be professionals who gave experience in treaty negotiations.

They include:

  • Michael Dreaver (Several settlements in Tamaki Makaurau)- $2.2 million
  • Ross Philippson (Former Director of the Office of Treaty Settlements) – $1.6 million
  • Pat Snedden (Author: “Pakeha and the Treaty, Why it’s our Treaty too” – $793,000
  • John Wood (Former diplomat, Chief Negotiator, Tuhoe settlement) – $780,672
  • Dame Patsy Reddy ( Wellington lawyer with wide range of Government appointments, Chief Crown Negotiator for Treaty Settlements in the Bay of Plenty ) –  $604,202

`Of the politicians listed only Sir Doug Graham – who negotiated the  ground breaking Ngai Tahu settlement as Treaty Negotiations Minister in the Bolger Government has any notable experience in the area.

And he received only $$166,135

The top earning politician was Paul Swain, a former Labour Minister and Wellington regional councillor who was paid $611,084.

One of his former colleagues and also a member of the Council, Fran Wilde got $87,166 while another colleague, former Minister, Rick Barker was paid $361,277.


The former National Minister and High Commissioner to London, Paul East, was paid $109,131

All up the Government has paid out $7,776,392 to Treaty negotiators since it came to power.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said “The role of a Chief Crown Negotiator is to represent me in negotiations.

“They work with the Office of Treaty Settlements but report to me directly. 

“In my seven years as Minister I’ve engaged a range of people to work as CCNs on various negotiations. 

“Each appointee has brought a strong set of skills and attributes to the role.

“This includes the valuable experience that CCNs like Paul Swain and Rick Barker bring to the table, drawing on their deep knowledge of government and ability to work with a wide range of people on complex issues.

“In short, I appoint people who I believe will get the job done.”