4 Nov 2014

Gisborne hapu takes land case to court

7:08 am on 4 November 2014

A hapu fighting for the return of land in Gisborne has taken a case against the Waitangi Tribunal to the High Court.

Nga Ariki Kaiputahi hapu was at court in Wellington with the Mangatu Incorporation and Te Aitanga a Mahaki Trust yesterday.

The Tribunal dismissed their applications in late 2013 for it to make special binding recommendations for the return of thousands of hectares of Crown land.

It said there were competing claims by the groups and urged them to mend their relationships and negotiate further with the Crown.

A lawyer for the subtribe, Kathy Ertel, told the High Court that the Tribunal is required by law to make a binding referendum in favour of the hapu.

Ms Ertel said it did not, and the Tribunal should be directed to reconsider its view.

Views from the Crown and other parties are expected to be heard today.