16 May 2012

Tribe drops urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing

6:55 pm on 16 May 2012

The Far North iwi Ngati Kuri is dropping its urgent Waitangi Tribunal claim and is re-entering direct negotiations with the Crown to settle its grievances.

It walked away from talks last year unhappy, after some of the tribe's ancestral land was included in a neighbouring iwi's settlement package.

Ngati Kuri says its ancestors arrived in Aotearoa some centuries before a new wave of waka.

It says it was too hard for tribal members to accept the loss of the ancestral lands to another iwi.

Ngati Kuri Trust Board chairman Harry Burkhardt says they were faced with no alternative but to withdraw from negotiations.

But he now says it's time to restart discussions.

Mr Burkhardt says he's not expecting negotiations to be easy, but now believes both sides want to reach a settlement.