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Whakatohea Files Joint Cross Appeal To Defend Takutai Moana

On 7 May 2021, Justice Churchman released his decision in regard to the Whakatōhea Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) case heard in the High Court last year that resulted in a joint customary marine title being awarded to six hapū of Te Whakatōhea; Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Rua, Ngāti Patu, Ngāti Ngahere, Ngāi Tama and Ūpokorehe.

An appeal against the Churchman decision was filed by the Landowners Coalition on 31 May 2021, however the Crown have not appealed, instead they have filed as an intervenor. Other appeals have since been filed by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and four Whakatōhea groups that oppose the decision, Ngāti Muriwai, Pākōwhai, Kutarere marae and Adriana Edwards.

One of the applicants for Ngāti Patu and claimant for Ngāti Ira, Ms Te Ringahuia Hata says she was expecting an appeal from the Crown and was surprised when they only filed as an intervenor.

“I expected an appeal from the Crown and the Landowners Coalition, but I was surprised when our own groups in Te Whakatōhea also filed an appeal against the decision. The hapu groups I have been working with are thrilled at the decision to grant a joint CMT order to our six hapu so they grounds for their appeal is surprising.”

Ms Hata has filed a notice of a joint cross appeal today in the Court of Appeal with four other applicants, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Rua, Ngāi Tama and Ngā Uri o Mokomoko.

“I have filed in the Court of Appeal today so we are off to defend our takutai moana and rivers as a matter of fact, law but more importantly, Tikanga. Meanwhile our mahi to draft orders will still continue and discussions with our neighbouring iwi will move ahead in accordance with Tikanga. Whakatōhea are leading the way in this case for all other hapū currrently in the High Court coming up behind us, it is important we defend our takutai moana all the way for everyone"

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