9 Jun 2014

Treaty office to review waiver process

6:49 am on 9 June 2014

The Office of Treaty Settlements is reviewing its processes after a High Court judgement criticised it for giving the wrong advice about a Bay of Plenty tribe's claims.

Justice Joe Williams has called the department out for causing major roadblocks for Ngati Whakahemo by telling Crown-owned Landcorp the tribe had no claim to farms up for sale.

The department said Ngati Whakahemo had settled its claims in 2008 as part of the Te Arawa collective settlement, but Justice Williams found the tribe does have a claim to the Wharere Farms.

The High Court has put a two month hold on the private sale of the farms and has ordered the Minister for Treaty Negotiations to re-examine the situation.

The minister, Chris Finlayson, has agreed to meet with iwi representatives over the coming weeks.

A spokesperson says the Office of Treaty Settlements is reviewing the process and working to understand the history and claims of Ngati Whakahemo.

The Crown is yet to decide whether it will appeal against the court's decision.