14 Aug 2012

Mutu regrets some private owners caught up in claim

12:15 pm on 14 August 2012

Ngati Kahu leader Margaret Mutu says she feel sorry for private-property owners caught up in the iwi's land claim.

Ngati Kahu has asked the Waitangi Tribunal to make binding recommendations over land in the Far North with section 27B memorials on the titles - tagged for return to Maori - in the 1997 Muriwhenua report.

The move follows the failure of settlement negotiations between the iwi and the Crown.

About 120 properties are affected, including a number of lifestyle blocks.

If the tribunal calls on seldom-used resumption powers, it could force the Government to buy the land back and return it to Ngati Kahu.

Dr Mutu says the buyers were aware of the 27B memorials, but some were advised the tribunal would never act on them, and some land that should have been memorialised was not.