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Waikato River Tribes and Pouakani River Trust on decision

Media Release for Waikato River and Dams Claims Trust & Pouakani Claims Trust

Waikato River Tribes and Pouakani River Trust have barely had opportunity to consider the decision of Justice Young today. However, the initial reaction of Mr Tamati Cairns, Chairman of the Waikato River and Dams Claims Trust and Pouakani Claims Trust was “that the decision holds no surprises, the Judge forecast his views during the hearing which I attended throughout” said Mr Cairns.

The Judge has based the decision on the fact that Parliament made the final decision to proceed with the asset sales, therefore nothing can be done about it. That is what the Court held. “In this country Parliament trumps the Courts” said Mr Cairns, “but if the decision was made by the Executive, which is what Maori say, then the executive was obliged to take proper account of Waikato River and Pouakani Maori interests. At least the Judge recognised “the great sadness that many of these claims have not been heard or resolved. Many go to the essence of Maori Iwi and Hapu.” He urged those who have the authority to “urgently address these claims”.

“I support the finding of Justice Young at paragraph 220” said Mr Cairns “but on everything else we will be appealing to the upper courts. Even the Judge referred to himself as a ‘bus-stop along the highway to achieving justice’. I will be supporting an appeal to the Supreme Court” said Mr Cairns.


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