1 Nov 2012

Crown says Treaty settlement is with the right group

8:28 am on 1 November 2012

The Crown is standing by its decision to resolve Treaty claims with a Maori urban authority rather than an iwi.

Some members of Palmerston North tribe Rangitane say they will take legal action if the Crown settles with Tanenuiarangi Manawatu Incorporated, arguing the body doesn't represent the people.

A descendant, Brigitte Te Awe Awe-Bevan, challenged the process through the Waitangi Tribunal. The Tribunal found the Crown had taken steps to ensure it was dealing with the right Maori organisation including bringing in tribal members to take part in settlement negotiations.

The Government supports the Tribunal, which says if the wrong group is leading the Treaty claims, people will vote down the final package put forward by the Crown.

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson says the aim is to initial a deed of settlement with the urban authority this month, though he has set up a meeting with Brigitte Te Awe Awe-Bevan to hear what she has to say.