Ngāti Wai claimants will push to have concerns heard

By Dean Nathan

Ngāti Wai treaty claimants will return to the Waitangi Tribunal if their concerns over a mandate given by the Crown to the Ngāti Wai Trust Board to settle their claims are not addressed.

Ngāti Wai chair Haydn Edmonds says, “It’s time for us to gather the whakapapa to seek our hapū and our whānau and our marae people to all come together and to unify ourselves as te iwi o Ngāti Wai and go and prosecute the Crown.”

It was one of the big issues raised at the Ngāti Wai Trust Board annual general meeting over the weekend.

Rowan Tautari says, “What they've done in the past two years is followed a Crown-defined and controlled process and that process has been very rigid and we as claimants have sort to expand that to question that to critique that to enable a process that fits our needs and that hasn't happened.”

Claimants say that parallels can be drawn with the issue over the mandate in Ngāpuhi. Despite not wanting to return to the Waitangi Tribunal over the issue, they may have no other alternative.

A meeting of the board and Ngāti Wai claimants is being organised to address this matter.