4 Nov 2013

Waitangi Tribunal begins King Country hearings

8:10 am on 4 November 2013

The Waitangi Tribunal's Te Rohe Potae (King Country) district inquiry is this week hearing evidence relating to local government and hapu.

From Monday, the tribunal will hear from Maori claimants based in and around the Waipa and Otorohanga area who have links to Ngati Maniapoto, the largest iwi involved in this tribunal inquiry.

This will be the eighth of 16 scheduled hearing weeks since November last year.

The inquiry is into whether an agreement was made between Maori and the Crown in the 1880s leading to the "opening up" of King Country, land confiscation in Waikato, and the impact of the Native Land Court on Maori.

Major issues in the King Country inquiry include the Crown's relationship with the Kingitanga movement, the construction of the main trunk railway, the management of Maori land and waterways in the 20th century, and the taking of whenua under the Public Works Act.

It encompasses over 270 claims, making it one of the tribunal's largest district inquiries.

The inquiry will be held at Te Kotahitanga Marae in Otorohanga until Friday, before another hearing is held in December.