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Nelson claimants feel short changed as Crown keeps land

Nelson claimants feel short changed as Crown keeps land

Attorney general Chris Finlayson last week suspended negotiations with the Taranaki Tainui ki Te Tonga group of iwi because he said there was a risk some claimants would be paid twice for the same claims if Wakatū wins its High Court case.

He says Wakatū is undermining the talks and the Crown’s general policy of negotiating with iwi groups.

The chair of Wakatu Incorporation,Mr Paul Morgan says the Crown is trying to impose a settlement that fails to honour the original 1845 deal that was supposed to reserve 10 percent of Nelson land for the Maori owners. Mr Morgan, says he’s not prepared to see Nelson claimants short-changed by the government’s treaty settlement process.

“It can be honoured because the Crown s in possession of significant land and I say possession within the New Zealand Company survey. It’s land it should not have in its possession because it hasn’t met not only its contractual obligations but we have title over that land that was issued to us in fee simple,” Mr Morgan says.

The high Court case starts on November 29.

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