Tūwharetoa's Te Matai Trust are concerned their injunction court hearing to halt the passing of the tribes Deed of Settlement as law, has been extended till the end of the month. Chair, Nigel Baker says the delay may mean the settlement bill is legislated before their WAI216 concerns are resolved.
Beneficiaries of Te Matai land blocks are worried about injunction hearing delays
"We have got fears about the extension time. We did hear the word retrospective mentioned in the first summary of the judge back on Friday. We're not sure how that's going to be accommodated in this situation," said Baker.
In 2013 Te Matai Trust endorsed by Ngāti Tūwharetoa chief Te Ariki Tumu te Heuheu, sought to deal directly with the crown regarding their WAI216 claim, to no avail.
"OTS were blunt about the matter. They said that THF (Tūwharetoa Hapū Forum) had the mandate and that we had to deal with them. We had done so, met with them on several occasions, but it was found there was no capacity to deal with our claim. And we've been in limbo ever since," said Baker.
On Saturday Ngāti Tūwharetoa signed their final Deed of Settlement with the crown, which was opposed by some Te Matai beneficiaries. Baker filed an injunction against the Attorney General, Chris Finlayson to stop the settlement.
"Well I saw the signs which referred to me as a fraud and various things outside." said Finlayson, "Look these things happen, it's all part and parcel of treaty settlements. They're very intensely felt negotiations that cover a wide range of issues."
"There's the issue about when this settlement becomes law. We wouldn't like to think that it was being dragged out just so the bill or matters can be put into a bill and signed off, without the issue being settled," said Baker.
Baker's lawyer will make a submission to the court regarding the length of time allocated to the crown to prepare their response.