15 May 2013

No breakthrough in Tribunal hearing funding decision

7:22 pm on 15 May 2013

A behind-the-scenes disagreement at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing funding provider remains unresolved.

There's been no breakthrough in talks to appoint an alternative Maori member to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, to replace Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie - who is stepping aside due to a conflict of interest.

Money from the trust is needed to help pay for hearings underway in Northland - but an argument over who should replace Sir Eddie is delaying the funding decision.

A barrister representing a number of claimants in the Te Paparahi o Te Raki inquiry, Moana Tuwhare, says the hold up comes at the expense of claimants.

She says while the trustees try to work out how they should run themselves, there are claimant communities who aren't getting the assistance they deserve.

Ms Tuwhare says money from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust goes towards paying witness fees, hearing venues, security, and transport.