5 Sep 2012

Crown opens land case

11:33 pm on 5 September 2012

The Crown has opened its case in the Waitangi Tribunal against a Northland iwi which is demanding that the Government return its land and property.

Ngati Kahu - one of the five Muriwhenua tribes - is asking the tribunal to take the rare step of ordering the return of State land and some that is now in private ownership.

The tribunal has never used its power to make binding recommendations to settle a major Treaty claim.

Ngai Takoto leader Rangitane Marsden said Ngati Kahu is entitled to ask for that - but it's also making 11th hour claims to the assets of neighbouring tribes.

Mr Marsden said Ngati Kahu's bizarre actions have forced Ngai Takoto to defend its claims just as it is about to sign a deed of settlement.