Closing submissions on Ngāti Kahu's application for binding recommendations were heard at the Environment Court in Auckland from Tuesday 18th to Wednesday 19th September. It is not possible to give a full report at this stage on the hearing. However the summary below covers proceedings and some of the key issues that arose.
TUESDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER 2012: Ngāti Kahu lead off on the Tuesday morning and the opposing submissions started after lunch. The Crown went first, followed by two Ngāti Kahu claimants groups from within the Ngāti Kahu hapū of Ngāti Tara and Te Paatu.
WEDNESDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER 2012: Wednesday opened with submissions from Te Paatu then Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri and Ngāi Takoto, followed by a further claimant grouping within Te Paatu hapū, as well as two Ngāpuhi hapū claimant groupings.
As the claimant, Ngāti Kahu had final right of reply. However, due to time constraints, our counsel only made an initial reply to aspects of the Crown's submissions. A comprehensive written reply will be lodged on Wednesday 26th September.
The hearing closed with timetabling matters around Ngāti Kahu's written reply, as well as around the resumption applications which have now also been lodged by Te Rarawa and the claimant group from Ngāti Tara.
KEY ISSUES: As expected the Tribunal gave no clear indication as to when a report might be expected. However during the hearing it did give some clear indications that it would be helpful if issues of mana whenua over Takahue and Ōtangaroa forests as well as properties in Kaitāia, were addressed. To that end, Te Rūnanga-a-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu will continue to seek meetings with the Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi hapū claimants.
The Tribunal also made it clear that issues of mana whenua over Rangiputa and Kohumaru stations must be addressed, otherwise Ngāti Kahu risks losing both properties permanently to the Crown. To that end Te Rūnanga-a-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu continue to seek meetings with the two claimant groups from Ngāti Tara and Te Paatu ki Pēria who, in turn, are meeting on Saturday 22 September 2012 to discuss the issues that arose during the hearing.
Additional to mana whenua, the Tribunal indicated that it would be helpful for Ngāti Kahu to give consideration in its reply to various other technical matters around resumption that were raised during the hearing.
SUBMISSIONS ONLINE: SEPTEMBER 2012 - LAND CLAIM UPDATE: Normally we post links of all the submissions to the Waitangi Tribunal BEFORE any hearings, but the timetable on the Closing Submissions hearing held earlier this week was just horrible. In fact we didn't see the Crown and everyone else's submissions until the hearing started at 10am Tuesday morning. Most of them can be read on the following links: