28 Mar 2013

Internal legal dispute at claimant funding body

6:50 am on 28 March 2013

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust says legal action by one of its own trustees is further delaying a decision on whether it will fund Treaty claims in Northland.

The trust says Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie has gone to the High Court to challenge a claim of a conflict of interest.

It's understood the trust wants him to step aside, in line with policy.

Crown Forestry Rental Trust chairperson Angela Foulkes says a planned meeting on funding has been delayed because of the legal case.

Ms Foulkes says she is waiting for a court ruling and apologises to claimants in Northland for the confusion.

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust regularly helps fund Waitangi Tribunal hearings, and its money also goes towards assisting claimants in preparing, presenting and negotiating claims involving Crown forest lands.