The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a North Island Maori group concerning the ownership of part of the Waikato riverbed.
The Pouakani hapu had claimed an interest in about 30km of the length of the riverbed beside land which was purchased by the Crown in the late 19th century.
The hapu's land beside the river near Mangakino was sold to the Crown in 1887 and 1899 and the group had claimed an interest in this section of the riverbed to its mid-point.
The court unanimously dismissed the appeal, saying the Coal Mines Amendment Act secured the bed of the Waikato River to the Crown in 1903.
The hapu has until the end of January next year to decide whether to appeal.