5 Dec 2013

Crown aware of competing Waikato land claims

7:12 pm on 5 December 2013

The Crown acknowledges that ancestral land claimed by a central North Island iwi is in line to be given to another tribe.

Ngati Kauwhata people have been to Parliament to make a plea for whenua in Waikato, where its descendants first settled before migrating south.

They want land which the disused Maungatautari School sits on near Cambridge, but it has been promised to Ngati Koroki Kahukura as part of its Treaty package.

Office of Treaty Settlements deputy director Marian Smith has told MPs it knows about the claims made by Ngati Kauwhata.

She says her office understands that Ngati Kauwhata has associations to the Cambridge area, and that the source of its people was from the great heke (migration) down to Manawatu.

Marian Smith says, under Crown policy, her officials are still to identify a large natural grouping to negotiate with.

The MP and member of the Maori Affairs Select Committee, Nanaia Mahuta, says it look like the horse has bolted for Ngati Kauwhata.