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Ngāti Whātua Files Statement of Claim in Auckland High Court

MEDIA STATEMENT
FRIDAY 26 JUNE 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ngāti Whātua Files Statement of Claim in Auckland High Court

Ngāti Whātua has today filed a statement of claim in the High Court at Auckland to seek a ruling to fast-­track the resolution of the difference of opinion over the extent of Ngāti Whātua’s Right of First Refusal (RFR) to surplus Crown land in Tamaki Makaurau.

This will be done by way of a judicial review of recent decisions and announcements around the Auckland Crown Land Programme, and in particular a property in Moire Rd in Massey.

“Ngāti Whātua is working closely with the government to get more houses built,” Ngāti Whātua’s Ngarimu Blair said today.

“At the same time, achieving clarity over the extent of our 172-­year RFR is a fundamental point of principle and economically important.

“Unlike hāpū and iwi in many other parts of the country, land in our rohe is extremely scarce and so the integrity of the RFR is vitally important.

“We are delighted with the strong moral support we have received and continue to receive from hāpū and iwi such as Waikato-­Tainui but have decided to proceed independently to achieve clarification for this and future generations.

“The relationship between Māori and the Crown was harmed for many generations by lack of agreement about the meaning of the articles of the Treaty of Waitangi and we are determined similar differences of opinion will not spoil the post-­settlement relationship.

“We have filed our statement of claim in good faith and with good will towards the Crown and simply want clarification on this important point of principle and law.

Our aim is to have the matter dealt with as quickly as possible to ensure it does nothing to delay the present government’s programme.

Our invitation to the Crown to join with us in the application remains.

“Housing Minister Nick Smith has indicated to us it will take around two months before he will be ready with more detailed housing proposals for the four sites that have sparked the difference of opinion, so our aim is that this step we have taken today will not delay the programme.

“The filing of the statement of claim does not affect the constructive relationship with the Crown we seek on housing and all other issues.

We will continue to contribute constructively to discussions involving the Crown and 12 other hāpū and iwi about the application of the Housing Protocol."

END

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