2 Aug 2012

Tribunal faults Crown over iwi settlement

7:04 pm on 2 August 2012

An urgent Waitangi Tribunal report says the Crown has broken commitments it made to a Wellington iwi - and breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust brought a claim, arguing the Crown was offering the lower North Island tribe Ngati Toa property in the capital as part of its Treaty settlement.

The trust says it was given an undertaking by the Crown that no property within its territory would be offered to Ngati Toa - apart from the Wellington Central Police Station.

In a report released on Thursday, the inquiry has found that the Crown guarantee was worth nothing.

It's established that the Crown did offer Ngati Toa the first right of refusal to buy state properties in Wellington, including the CBD.

The Waitangi Tribunal is now recommending that the Crown reviews its offer to Ngati Toa, to ensure no commercial properties in the central city are made available to the tribe.

The inquiry rushed out its report because it wanted to minimise any disruption to the settlement process for Ngati Toa, which is expected to initial a Deed of Settlement soon.