1 Mar 2012

Urgent tribunal hearing likely for freshwater claim - lawyer

8:13 am on 1 March 2012

A lawyer specialising in the Treaty of Waitangi and Environmental matters says it's likely the Waitangi Tribunal will grant an urgent hearing for a freshwater claim.

The claim was filed by the Maori Council and eleven hapu groups on 6 February, asking the Tribunal to uphold the rights of tangata whenua over freshwater resources.

A spokesperson for the council's chairperson Maanu Paul says the parties have a legitimate claim on water, which in turn he says entitles them to a stake in state-owned asset shares.

The principal of an Auckland legal firm, Tamatekapua Law, Prue Kapua, expects an urgent hearing to be granted.

She says urgent hearings are normally granted when an event is due to happen, such as the transfer of assets.