16 Nov 2011

Iwi wins right to go to court over forest carve-up

7:11 am on 16 November 2011

A central North Island iwi has won its bid for a court hearing if all eight tribes involved in a Treaty deal can't decide how to divide up a huge forestry block.

Ngati Manawa took legal action against seven other tribes, including Ngati Whare, Tuwharetoa and Ngati Rangitihi, because they missed a self-imposed deadline to share 176,000 hectares of Kaingaroa forestry land near Rotorua.

Ngati Manawa lawyer Kathy Ertel says Ngati Manawa is pleased it has been cleared to go to court following a ruling at a preliminary hearing in October.

But, she says, the court also granted a four-month adjournment so the tribal collective can try to agree on a way to go through the Mana Whenua process.

This process covers areas such as identifying tribal ties to land, face-to-face negotiations and bringing in an independent panel to decide each tribe's shares.