8 May 2015

Wakatu wins Supreme Court appeal

7:14 pm on 8 May 2015

A Maori business at the top of the South Island has won a Supreme Court appeal to decide if it can make claims against the Crown for land rights.

After losing an earlier hearing, it is a victory for Nelson-based Wakatu Incorporation, which runs the international food and drinks brand, Kono.

The case centres on whenua, and the assertion that wider Treaty settlements for iwi extinguish the company's claims to land.

Paul Morgan.

Wakatu Incorporation chair, Paul Morgan. Photo: SUPPLIED

Wakatu said it was seeking the return of all land in Nelson that was, or should have been, included in the original Tenths Reserves estate, from which descendants created Wakatu.

The Supreme Court will address whether the Crown is in breach of its duties and investigate if Wakatu should be compensated.

A year ago the Government declared it had reached agreements with all iwi and hapu in Te Waipounamu, something the Incorporation disagreed with.

The four-day appeal hearing is due to start in October.

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