22 Aug 2013

Ngati Toa defends claim to Taputeranga Island

6:35 am on 22 August 2013

An iwi with ties to both sides of the Cook Strait, Ngati Toa, is defending its claim to an island off the Wellington coast, despite opposition from the locals.

Ngati Toa is one of eight iwi included in the Tau Ihu Claims Settlement Bill and will gain ownership of Taputeranga Island, near Island Bay, as part of its settlement.

Te Atiawa ki Taranaki Whanui of Wellington opposed that at a Maori Affairs Select Committee hearing on Wednesday saying Ngati Toa has no historical interests in the island.

But Ngati Toa runanga director Matiu Rei said the Waitangi Tribunal has found the iwi does have interests in the south coast of Wellington.

He said the Tribunal also found Ngati Toa should have been included in the iwi collective known as the Wellington Tenths Trust, when it settled.