22 Nov 2012

Iwi accused of lying to gain rights to Wellington land

6:43 am on 22 November 2012

A Porirua-based iwi is being accused by a member of a neighbouring tribe of lying to the Crown to gain rights to Wellington land.

Taranaki-Whanui, which has historical ties within Wellington harbour, has taken legal action over the Crown's Treaty settlement for Porirua iwi Ngati Toa.

Along with $50 million in cash payments, the Crown has offered Ngati Toa cultural redress for, and the chance to buy, several Wellington properties.

But a Taranaki-Whanui supporter, Ihaia Puketapu, says Ngati Toa is lying about its history to gain land rights in areas that should belong to the collective.

Mr Puketapu claims that Ngati Toa are only interested in the Harbour, particularly Taputeranga Island in Island Bay, because it will give the tribe new fishing opportunities.

Radio New Zealand asked Ngati Toa Runanga chairman Taku Parai to respond to the accusations - but he declined to comment - saying he will wait for the court to rule.

Port Nicholson Trust lawyer Phillip Green also refused to comment on the case.

A ruling is expected to be made by the end of the week.