7 Dec 2010

Finlayson backs High Court to decide customary rights

8:56 pm on 7 December 2010

Attorney General Chris Finlayson has defended the ability of the High Court to sort out whether individual Maori groups have customary rights to areas of the foreshore and seabed.

Ngati Kahu negotiator Margaret Mutu says her Far North runanga won't be using the mechanism in the Marine and Coastal Area Bill because Pakeha high court judges don't have training in things Maori.

Mr Finlayson says Professor Mutu's disparaging comments about the judiciary ignore the significant work Pakeha judges have done in recognising Maori rights.

He says they won't do the job alone.