26 Oct 2010

Wakatu Incorporation won't be bullied over claim - chair

6:52 am on 26 October 2010

The head of Nelson's Wakatu Incorporation says he won't be bullied by the Government into giving up the fight for his people's common law property rights.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson last week suspended talks with four iwi in the Taranaki Tainui ki te Tonga group, because of a legal challenge by Wakatu to the way the Crown administered its land for more than a century.

Chair Paul Morgan says the Crown won't negotiate in good faith with Wakatu, even though it lodged the original Waitangi Tribunal claim, so it is going to court to defend the individual rights of present and past owners.

He told Waatea News that under the Waitangi Act any Maori can make a claim.

"But the Crown stategy is to deal with a large communal group. It has managerial benefits, but it is not designed to (fix) Crown breaches," he said.