Ngāpuhi: Tribunal declines hearing over Crown withdrawal

7:37 pm on 18 October 2017

The Waitangi Tribunal has turned down a request for a hearing over the Crown's withdrawal from pre-settlement talks with Ngāpuhi.

Prime Minister Bill English announced in June the government was pulling away from discussions aimed at resolving the Northland iwi's differences over representation.

There is a conflict between two groups within the iwi over who should represent them in the negotiation with the Crown.

The chairman of Whangaroa claimants, Anaru Kira, argued that was a Treaty breach and asked the tribunal for an urgent hearing.

Forty-five other claimant groups joined the action, though some welcomed the break, saying it gave hapū a chance to work through their issues.

The Crown told the tribunal it was stepping back for four months, and promised an update by 10 November.

The tribunal said in the light of all the submissions, and with the expectation that the Crown would re-engage with Ngāpuhi soon, the threshold for an urgent hearing had not been met.

The Crown will present closing arguments at Waitangi this week, ending seven years of hearings on the northern claims.

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