You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Supreme Court win for Nelson iwi

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Crown has to uphold the terms of the deal made in 1845 to reserve more than 6000 hectares of land around Nelson for iwi.

Decisions by of the High Court and Court of Appeal were overturned on Tuesday and the Supreme Court found the Crown owed fiduciary duties to reserve the for the benefit of the customary owners.

In 1845, Land Commissioner William Spain ruled a six-year-old 151,000-acre (61,100ha) land deal involving the New Zealand company should include one 10th reserved for the original Maori owners.

However, only just over a third of the land was identified and reserved at the time - a number of one-acre sections in Nelson and 50-acre sections around Motueka and Moutere.

Iwi also argued they also lost 2326 acres during Crown administration between 1842 and 1882.

The Wakatu Incorporation, representing about 4000 shareholders, and Ngati Tama and Ngati Rarua kaumatua Pat (Rore) Stafford have previously lost cases for redress in the High Court and Court of Appeal, but now the Supreme Court has allowed their appeal in part.

It said the Crown owed fiduciary duties to reserve the 15,100 acres and exclude pa, urupa and cultivations from the 1845 Crown deal.

It rejected attorney-general's argument Mr Stafford had no standing to pursue the claim, and that his claim wasn't barred by time limits or recent settlements by Nelson iwi.

However, it said Wakatu and Te Kahui Ngahuru Trust lacked the standing to bring claims on behalf of customary owners.

The Supreme Court said it could not determine what losses Maori suffered because of the loss of the land, but Mr Stafford may now go back to the High court to seek a remedy on behalf of the customary owners.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon