17 Sep 2014

Sub-tribes upset tribunal criticised

7:17 am on 17 September 2014

The United sub-tribes of Ngapuhi says the Minister of Justice should be ashamed of himself for criticising the Waitangi Tribunal.

Chris Finlayson.

Chris Finlayson. Photo: RNZ

The tribunal has decided to hold an urgent hearing into the approval of Tuhoronuku to lead settlement negotiations for Ngapuhi after protests from the hapu.

The Minister of Justice and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Chris Finlayson, is adamant he will get a settlement with the iwi and said maybe the tribunal had not grasped what the Crown is trying to achieve.

But Te Kotahitanga o Nga Hapu o Ngapuhi co-chair, Peter Tipene, said the whole Government should be embarrassed that one of their ministers is saying such things.

Mr Tipene said Mr Finlayson's comments are putting pressure on what is supposed to be an independent organisation.

He said everyone is trying to reach a settlement - but the process to achieving that has been unfair and it is about time Mr Finlayson admitted that he got it wrong.

Mr Finlayson declined to respond to the comments, but in a statement said the Government is taking advice on its options in relation to the tribunal's decision.

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