Tukoroirangi Morgan threatens legal action over Govt's land sell off

By Ripeka Timutimu

Tainui spokesperson Tukoroirangi Morgan has threatened legal action over the government's surplus land sell off in Auckland. 

Morgan spoke to Waatea Radio this morning and said the Huakina claim, lodged by Tainui in 1987 regarding their interests in the Auckland region had not been resolved, and any land sell off would trigger court action. 

The Prime Minister was surprised to hear that Tainui could be heading to court if land pertaining to their claim in Auckland is sold off.

King Tuheitia last week claimed Tainui still held interests in the Auckland region.  In an interview this morning on Waatea Radio, Tukoroirangi Morgan said the King was referring to a claim lodged by Waikato-Tainui called the Huakina claim in 1987. 

Tukoroirangi Morgan told Radio Waatea, "Well actually it has been there for a long time, and so as a result of that, five weeks ago I met the Minister of Treaty Negotiations and made it clear that our claim sits there and if they want to sell one acre in Auckland in relation to housing projects, go ahead and we will take them to court, because our issues remain unresolved."

Treaty Minister Chris Finlayson says he has had conversations in the past regarding the claim, and has been clear to Morgan about the next steps forward.

"I've said to him, the thing to do is for Tainui to go away and get a mandate so that it can raise these matters with me and then the next stage will be whether or not they have lodged any claims prior to 2008 in relation to these matters."

NZ First leader Winston Peters has come out against the claim.

"Well the key reason is that there are other iwi who will be equally entitled to make a claim. Ngāti Whātua for one and then you get into the north of Auckland, a totally different group or groups so it is iwi against iwi and second, where is the law that says they can do this?" he says.

Ngāti Whātua has lodged legal proceedings over their RFR rights in Auckland, Tainui could be the next to follow suit if the Huakina claim isn't acknowledged in due time.