22 Jun 2013

Govt to cover cost of Ngapuhi land claim hearings

3:30 pm on 22 June 2013

The Government has agreed to cover the cost of a second round of hearings in the massive Ngapuhi land claim.

Waitangi Tribunal hearings are traditionally funded by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, but the trust has declined funding for Ngapuhi while it goes to court over who can stand in for co-chair Sir Eddie Durie.

Minister for Treaty Negotiations, Chris Finlayson, says Cabinet has approved funding for the next two weeks of hearings, involving claimants from Whangaroa to Kaikohe.

He says the Government considers it important to continue the progress that's been made with the northern claims, despite the trust's difficulties.

The first round of hearings for Bay of Islands claimants was also paid for by the Government, at a cost of about $160,000.