Waitangi Tribunal urged to make binding recommendations

Ngati Kahu have won their battle
to seek binding recommendations from the Waitangi Tribunal
following a High Court ruling. The application was made
after the Government declined a Treaty claim settlement
by the iwi who sought the compulsory return
of lands under the Crown Forest and State Owned Enterprise’s
in their territories. Here’s more. A victory for Ngati Kahu. The Crown has always said you can’t have
binding recommendations. Well, that’s just untrue. She says since the Tribunal exercised a binding recommendation
in the 1990’s, they’ve been threatened
by the Government they will be abolished
if they do it again. The issue is when the Government declined to accept Ngati Kahu’s
claims for what they really are, the Tribunal is
the only option left. Ngati Kahu are seeking the return
of their lands through a binding recommendation. There are 15 sub-tribes
of Ngati Kahu, none of whom have had
their land returned. Mutu believes the High Court’s
ruling will be beneficial for other iwi who are following
the same pathway. If they have lands
under State Owned Enterprises or with Crown Forestry,
this is will be good for them too. Despite the long road
Ngati Kahu is on, they’re following the lead
of their elders who advised not to rush the process
of settling their claims. Do what’s right,
that way no one will lose out, and there’ll be no wrongdoing
by anyone. Even though it’s a long road,
do what is right. Her advice to the Tribunal… Do you work with integrity. Don’t fall victim to these threats
by the Government. What they’re doing is wrong. She’s not counting on the claims
being settled in her time, but hopes that it will happen in the
era of the children of Ngati Kahu. Peata Melbourne, Te Karere.

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