2 Nov 2012

Ngati Toa wait longer for settlement

9:25 pm on 2 November 2012

Government ministers say there is nothing they can do to speed up the settlement process for Ngati Toa, which has had its deed signing delayed once more by the Port Nicholson Settlement Block Trust.

In October, the trust unsuccessfully asked the Waitangi Tribunal to stop the iwi's Crown package and is now taking legal action in the High Court.

Ngati Toa wants Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson to try to stop the delays, but the minister says that he can't.

He says the matter is now before the courts and any decision can only be made by the judiciary.

Mr Finlayson says he understands Ngati Toa's argument and is frustrated that the trust is seeking to intervene settlements for in other people.

Ngati Toa Runanga chair Taku Parai says the trust disagrees with the decision on some land included in the settlement package.

Mr Parai says the Waitangi Tribunal has already made it clear that Ngati Toa will not hold exclusive rights in Wellington, which he says is what the trust wants.

Ngati Toa was meant to sign its deed on Friday but now has to wait for the High Court proceedings which are set down for 12 and 13 November.

Mr Parai believes the court will come to the same conclusion as the tribunal, but believes the process has been drawn out too long.

The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust declined to comment.