27 May 2013

Marae meetings for iwi forestry dispute

6:32 am on 27 May 2013

Fresh attempts to kick-start a plan to distribute central North Island forestry land are being taken to Tuhoe and Tuwharetoa marae.

As part of a Treaty settlement, the large chunks of whenua were given back to a collective of eight iwi under the Treelords deal.

But the tribes have failed to share the land among them according to mana whenua or territorial rights - something the Crown said would be done by 2011.

A Ngati Manawa action group called Te Kokoti Moeroa a Tangiharuru - led by Pem Bird - is taking the issue to the people.

Mr Bird said there are plans to visit marae in Tuhoe and Tuwharetoa to talk to descendants.

He believes the ordinary, average Maori is not well informed about the rules to share the forestry land among the tribes.

Te Kokoti Moeroa a Tangiharuru has also filed proceedings with the High Court, and is waiting for a hearing date to be announced.

The central North Island forest iwi collective is made up of: Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Whare, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whakaue, and Ngati Raukawa and the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu that make up Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa.