14 Oct 2010

Inquiry into Ngapuhi claims draws to close

7:47 pm on 14 October 2010

The Waitangi Tribunal's inquiry into Ngapuhi sovereignty claims is drawing to a close at a marae north of Kerikeri.

The tribunal is investigating the events surrounding Ngapuhi's 1835 declaration of independence and their claim that they did not cede sovereignty when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

The last two days of the inquiry have been taken up with Crown witnesses; earlier this year, there were three weeks of claimants' evidence.

Key points from four eminent historians include a rebuttal of evidence from scholar and writer Dame Anne Salmond that "kawanatanga" is not an adequate translation of the word "sovereignty" in the Maori text of the Treaty.

Dr Phil Parkinson told the tribunal that kawanatanga was the only appropriate term to convey the reality of civil government that British sovereignty would bring.