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Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to seek clarity on overlapping claims

MEDIA STATEMENT

On behalf of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust

27 August 2015

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to seek clarity on overlapping claims process

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has today filed papers in the Auckland High Court to seek clarification of the Crown’s process in negotiating Treaty of Waitangi settlements in Auckland.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Deputy Chair, Ngarimu Blair, says the hapū aims to get clarity on the Crown’s policy regarding ‘overlapping claims’.

“This is about protecting our settlements, not stopping anyone else’s.

“Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has been very accommodating, constructive and flexible in its approach to achieve a settlement for wider Auckland.

“We want all iwi in Tāmaki to settle with the Crown. However, the Crown has a responsibility to settle grievances honourably, without undermining existing settlements.

“Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has maintained ahi kā roa here for centuries. We cannot support the Crown in its proposed transfer of land within our rohe to other iwi,” says Mr Blair.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has applied for a declaratory judgement relating to the Crown’s negotiation process with Ngāti Paoa and its proposed transfer of land within central Auckland.

“At the heart of this issue is the Crown’s approach to settling overlapping claims.

“Central Auckland has already been settled with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and other iwi through a shared ‘Right of First Refusal’ agreement.

“As we’ve seen over the past week, some iwi have bought into the Crown’s process which sets Māori against Māori by making new claims over Auckland,” says Mr Blair.

“Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei wants the correct process to be recognised, to prevent ongoing and numerous claims.

“We have attempted to work through this matter face to face, but as a Trust, we have a duty to protect the interests of our members, and our mana. Our disagreement is with the Crown, not other iwi.”

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei says litigation was its last option but it believes this action will ultimately benefit all iwi who have settled, or will settle, with the Crown.

ENDS


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