24 Dec 2013

Iwi gets approval for tribunal hearing

7:43 am on 24 December 2013

Ngati Whakahemo in Bay of Plenty says the Waitangi Tribunal has agreed to hear its outstanding claims, which will prove it has mana whenua rights to local farmlands.

State-owned agribusiness Landcorp recently cancelled its tender process for the Wharere farms, and has allowed local iwi the chance to purchase it.

Te Runanga o Ngati Whakahemo says it was wrongly included in another treaty settlement, which removed its rights to the farms.

Chair Mita Ririnui says the tribunal has recently agreed to hear its claim, and believes the Wharere farms will be available to it as part of its settlement.

He says he is happy that iwi have the opportunity to negotiate a commercial purchase of the land but that no other iwi has pre-emptive rights to obtain the farms.

Mr Ririnui says the iwi wants to get its claims finally sorted.