24 Apr 2012

Ngati Wai say voice not heard over island claim

8:26 am on 24 April 2012

Members of Ngati Wai say they have been denied an urgent hearing at the Waitangi Tribunal over the Crown's deal to give Little Barrier Island (Hauturu) to a hapu.

The roopu is challenging the decision to include the island in the Ngati Manuhiri Claims Settlement Bill.

They asked for the issue to be examined by the Waitangi Tribunal, which rejected the request.

The group of Ngati Wai people says its iwi also lays claim to the island in the Hauraki Gulf, and the Crown package was offered to the hapu Ngati Manuhiri without its knowledge.

Natasha Lee-Sadler says the settlement does not satisfy Ngati Wai tangata whenua.

She says the island is important to the whole tribe because all their ancestors lived and died there.

Ms Lee-Sadler says the iwi acknowledges the sub-tribe Ngati Manuhiri, but not all of Ngati Wai is Ngati Manuhiri.

On Monday the Maori Affairs Select Committee visited Leigh, north of Auckland, to hear submissions for and against the planned legislation to settle Ngati Manuhiri's claims.