11 Jun 2013

Ngati Manawa lays claim to Kaingaroa forest

6:42 am on 11 June 2013

An iwi is laying claim to 70% of the Kaingaroa Forest in Bay of Plenty.

Much of the forest was returned to eight iwi as part of a Crown Treaty settlement in 2009, but the tribes are still arguing over who should have what.

Legislation says the forestry blocks have to be divided among the iwi according to mana whenua - the mana that tribes traditionally exercised over the land.

Ngati Manawa says its territorial rights would account for more than two thirds of the forest.

Leader of the tribe's action group Pem Bird acknowledges the other tribes would not agree to the claim - but might recognise its authority.

He said it would be unacceptable for Ngati Manawa to have 70%.

Mr Bird suggests the seven other iwi acknowledge that his tribe is mana whenua.