21 May 2011

Tribunal hearing ordered

8:02 pm on 21 May 2011

Mangatu Incorporation in Poverty Bay is celebrating a win in the Supreme Court which has reportedly thrown the Treaty settlement process into turmoil.

The court has ruled that the Waitangi Tribunal must hear the incorporation's claim that land forcibly acquired by the Crown for forestry in 1961 should go back it, rather than to Te Aitanga Mahaaki iwi.

Chairperson Alan Haronga told Waatea News that the incorporation instigated and funded the claim in the early 1990s and it was upset to be first cut out of the proposed iwi settlement and then sidelined by the Waitangi Tribunal, which refused to grant it a resumption hearing.

Treaty lawyers say the decision opens the door for individual claimants who are unhappy with settlements under the Crown's policy of large natural groupings, to go back to the tribunal and get binding orders over particular forestry blocks.