24 May 2013

Council would go to tribunal hearings if invited

11:08 am on 24 May 2013

Far North mayor Wayne Brown says the Far North District Council would willingly go to Waitangi Tribunal hearings, but it's never been invited.

Lawyer Annette Sykes told the tribunal last week that Northland councils should be attending the Ngapuhi land claim hearings, to hear about the role councils have played in the alienation of Maori land.

Mr Brown said there's been no suggestion until now that the council should attend.

He said the council has felt it had no place at tribunal hearings, because it is constantly said that the Treaty agreement was between the Crown and Maori.

Ngapuhi claimants have told the tribunal that orevious councils have used aggressive rating practices to force Maori off some of the choicest spots in the Bay of Islands.