12 Jun 2013

Court action on track despite forest talks breakthrough

7:06 pm on 12 June 2013

A Bay of Plenty tribe says there are no plans to call off court action to force the division of the Kaingaroa Forest among eight iwi - despite a breakthrough in talks.

Members of a Ngati Manawa group recently held a noho (occupation) on a strip of forestry land.

The group's leader, Pem Bird, says that protest has prompted calls from other iwi that are keen to share the land according to mana whenua (territorial rights).

But he says it's too early to pull court proceedings that have been filed at the High Court.

Mr Bird says there's a little way to go yet, but the door is opening and people are wanting to sit down and talk about the issues and the concerns.

He says three iwi have contacted the chairman of his runanga to discuss dividing the land.