Catholic church asks to appear before Tribunal

Updated at 6:36 am on 8 November 2012

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland has asked to appear before the Waitangi Tribunal in its Paparahi o Te Raki inquiry.

The Tribunal will begin stage two hearings next year, into the historical grievances of Ngapuhi and other northern tribes.

In a memo to the tribunal, the church's legal advisor James Johnston says certain claimants have made serious allegations against the Catholic Church, as an alleged "agent of the Crown", and the Bishop.

Mr Johnston says although claims against the church are not within the Tribunal's jurisdiction, the Bishop wants to respond, and provide any evidence that might help the Tribunal on questions of fact.

It's understood the claims come from former students at Hato Petera church in Auckland, and relate to the on-sale of land granted to the Catholic Church by Governor George Grey in 1849.

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