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Waitangi Tribunal appointments

10 September 2002 Media Statement

Waitangi Tribunal appointments


Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia has announced the appointment of three new members to the Waitangi Tribunal, and the reappointment of John Clarke and Joanne Morris.

"The new members, Gloria Herbert, Joseph Northover and Dr Monty Soutar bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Waitangi Tribunal. The reappointment of John Clarke and Joanne Morris will ensure the specific knowledge of the Waitangi Tribunal is maintained and progress can continue. The Governor General Dame Silvia Cartright has made the appointments, for a three-year term from 2002-2005.

"I would like to thank Dr Pita Sharples, Roger Maaka and Professor Keith Sorrenson for their service, they have been excellent members of the Waitangi Tribunal and have each made significant contributions to progressing the claims on which they sat.

"Professor Keith Sorrenson has served five terms on the Waitangi Tribunal and has been a full-time historian member since the early 1990s making an outstanding contribution to the Tribunal's work.

"Waitangi Tribunal members are required to investigate and report on Maori claims against the Crown under the Treaty of Waitangi which includes evaluating large amounts of historical, traditional and legal evidence, through a range of forums.

"The work of the Waitangi Tribunal can be accessed by every New Zealander through their local public libraries where all Waitangi Tribunal reports are made available and over the internet at http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/.

"These reports provide a high level of detail on the history of regions, not widely known by the public or within the specific hapu, iwi or communities. New Zealanders can and must face the history of our country. We must have the courage to let our history inform us and assist us to mature as a nation.

"This Government is committed to achieving the fair and durable settlement of well-founded historical claims in a timely manner. Together with the funding boost announced in June 2002, these appointments will assist to make this a reality much sooner.

"The announcement of these appointments builds on the initiatives to streamline the settlement process while maintaining its durability, announced by Treaty Settlements Minister Margaret Wilson in February. It will allow the Waitangi Tribunal to get on with its job of hearing and reporting on the claims which will contribute to progressing whanau, hapu iwi and Maori development," says Parekura Horomia.


ENDS

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Three new appointments:
Gloria Herbert is a consultant with over 25 years experience working for iwi organisations. She has a strong focus on economic and social development issues, as well as possessing a depth of knowledge across a range of Treaty related issues.

Joesph Northover has extensive experience as a claimant co-ordinator in the Mohaka ki Ahuriri inquiry, as well as valuable skills in tikanga and te reo Maori. His work and community experience have prepared him to interact with diverse groups.

Dr Monty Soutar a lecturer and co-ordinator of Post-graduate Studies, at Massey University, fulfils the Tribunal’s need for a specialist Maori traditional and post-contact historian. He is also known for his work as a historian of C Company, Maori Battalion. C Company was drawn from Omaio to the East Coast and Gisborne.

Two reappointments:
John Clark has been on the Waitangi Tribunal since 1995. He is a former senior public servant, public sector chief executive and Race Relations Conciliator. He has considerable experience in Treaty negotiations, as well as extensive knowledge and skills in tikanga and te reo Maori.

Joanne Morris has been on the Waitangi Tribunal since 1989, and is an able and experienced legal analyst, who has served as a Law Commissioner. She has a strong focus on social justice, as well as possessing valuable analytical and writing skills.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Waitangi Tribunal
The Waitangi Tribunal was established under section 4 of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, and consists of the Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court and between two and sixteen members appointed for three year terms.

Minister of Maori Affairs responsibility
The Maori Affairs Minister is responsible for recommending appointments to the Governor General in consultation with other relevant Ministers.

Section 4(2A) of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 requires the Minister of Maori Affairs to have regard to the partnership between the two parties to the Treaty and, to also have regard not only to a person's personal attributes but also to a person's knowledge of and experience in the different aspects of matters likely to come before the Tribunal.


Retiring Members current Tribunal panels

Dr Pita Sharples is not a member of any current Tribunal panel.

Roger Maaka will continue on the Te Tau Ihu (Northern South Island) and Wa1 262 (Flora and Fauna) current Tribunal panels.

Professor Keith Sorrenson is on the Mohaka ki Ahuriri, Te Tau Ihu, Wellington Tenths, Tauranga Moana, Rotorua, Taupo and Kaingaroa current Tribunal panels.

ENDS

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