30 May 2014

Questions over iwi membership

6:52 am on 30 May 2014

A small Taranaki tribe headed for settlement has issued a final tipuna list to prevent other iwi and hapu taking control of its destiny.

Mt Taranaki, Egmont National Park.

Mt Taranaki, Egmont National Park. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The Maori Land Court appointed interim trustees to Ngati Maru after discovering the tribe's membership register and finances weren't in order.

About 800 members were on file but not all of them could prove they were descendants.

Court-appointed trustee Holden Hohaia said the original list was manipulated. However, whakapapa research had helped to whittle down the database.

Mr Hohaia said there were about 340 registrations from people of Ngati Maru descent.

There was another 450 applications, and those applicants needed to provide more information before the iwi could validate them as Ngati Maru people, he said.