30 May 2011

Retired judge to look at Waikato reserve dispute

4:31 pm on 30 May 2011

A retired High Court Judge appointed to sort out a long-running dispute over the governance of the Maungatautari Ecological Island Reserve in Waikato has not been given a timeframe.

Sir David Tompkins, QC, will act as an independent facilitator.

A spokesperson for the Treaty Claims Minister says Sir David will meet with the interested parties and work through the issues.

Some landowners bordering the reserve near Cambridge are upset over a new governance structure that splits control 50:50 between landowners, plus the community and iwi.

They want the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust returned to a three-way split between iwi, community and landowners.

The landowners have threatened to pull down parts of the 47km-long pest-proof fence that surrounds the mountain.

The signing of a Treaty settlement with local iwi Ngati Koroki Kahukura, although not directly related to the issue, has been delayed to allow Sir David to complete his work.