2 Mar 2017

Wellington Māori with "tenths" arrangement look closely at court judgement

2:45 pm on 2 March 2017

The Wellington Tenths Trust is looking closely at a landmark Supreme Court ruling that the Crown must honour a land deal agreed with Nelson Māori in 1839.

Wellington Tenths Trust Chairman, Morrie Love at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Morrie Love said the Wellington Tenths Trust would be going through the judgement with some care. Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

The Wakatū Incorporation, representing the descendants of Nelson Māori, successfully argued that the terms of the land deal, that they should receive a tenth of the land bought by a settler company, was valid. The Supreme Court found the government had acted as trustee in the arrangement and owed fiduciary duties to reserve the land.

A similar "tenths" deal was negotiated with Te Atiawa in Wellington. They too ended up with less than the 10 percent supposed to remain in their ownership.

Morrie Love, chair of the Wellington Tenths Trust, said Te Atiawa received about a third of the land promised, some 36 acres - instead of 110 acres - of the 1100 acres in the deal.

This week's ruling was of "huge interest for us here in Wellington," he said.

The trust had only just started looking at the full implications of the court judgement and would have to do more analysis.

Mr Love said it was not clear whether there were implications for other pre-Treaty of Waitangi deals made in New Plymouth and Whanganui with the New Zealand Company.