Withdrawal of application for urgent hearing signals return to DoS negotiations.
Following deep reflection and discussion by kaumatua and kuia of Nga Uri o Ngāti Kuri, the Ngāti Kuri Trust Board is to re-enter negotiations with the Crown with the aim of settling outstanding Treaty of Waitangi grievances.
Following this decision the Trust Board is withdrawing its application for an urgent hearing in the Waitangi Tribunal.
Ngāti Kuri began direct negotiations with the Crown in August 2008. Significant progress was made with the claim until the Crown opted to transfer title of Hikitama/Cape View Station and Nga Tama A Tautanui (Twin Pa sites) to neighbouring claimant Te Aupouri.
Ngāti Kuri Trust Board Chairman Harry Burkhardt says the Crown had earlier acknowledged that Ngāti Kuri is the tangata whenua of these lands.
He says Ngāti Kuri is the direct descendant of the original inhabitants and the founding peoples of the northernmost peninsula of Aotearoa, Te Hiku o Te Ika.
“These Ngāti Kuri ancestors preceded the arrival of the contemporary wave of migratory waka by some centuries and therefore it was too hard for our people to accept the loss of these ancestral lands. We were faced with no alternative but to withdraw from negotiations in 2011.
“Our experience was that the Crown was intransigent at that time but we are now hopeful of finding a way through this impasse so we can advance the negotiations to a Deed of Settlement.
Burkhardt says the withdrawal of the application for an urgent hearing in the Waitangi Tribunal signals the return to good faith negotiations with earnestness.
He says he is not expecting the process to be easy but he now feels there is intent on both sides to find a way through.
For further comment contact: Harry Burkhardt 021 485 985
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