12 Aug 2010

Tribunal seen as inhibiting kaumatua from giving evidence

3:48 pm on 12 August 2010

Former Northern Maori MP Bruce Gregory says the Waitangi Tribunal is inhibiting kaumatua from giving evidence.

The Tribunal is in Panguru in north Hokianga this week for a third series of hearing on Northland claims, including an examination of Ngapuhi views on whether they conceded sovereignty by signing the Treaty of Waitangi.

Waatea News reports presiding judge Craig Coxhead issued a memorandum before the hearing, criticising the way some witnesses at the second hearing failed to stick to their briefs of evidence or to address the questions the tribunal was asking.

Dr Gregory says kaumatua are not happy with the time limits and the restrictions. "Maori korero takes whatever time it takes (to say) what they're trying to say."