16 Dec 2013

Crown dismisses Maori Council claims over Act

7:25 pm on 16 December 2013

The Crown has told the Waitangi Tribunal that it should not rush to hear the New Zealand Maori Council's claims on legislation that governs it.

The Maori Council has argued for an urgent hearing on the Maori Community Development Act, which has just been reviewed.

The council has told the Judicial Conference of the Tribunal it is wrong that the consultation process for the act was led only by the Crown agency, Te Puni Kokiri.

It says excluding the council from the process is inconsistent with the Treaty of Waitangi and the United Nations Declarations of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

But the Crown says it consulted with Maori communities over 20 hui and received feedback from the Maori Council.

Te Puni Kokiri says an urgent Tribunal hearing would be premature, as the next level of consultation on the Act has not been designed.