Confirmation of Appeal over Boundary Issue

14 September 2009

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu can confirm that it will continue to seek a judicial review in regards to a Waitangi Tribunal report which found Te Tau Ihu had overlapping customary rights within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā.

In August the High Court dismissed Te Rūnanga’s initial attempt to seek a judicial review, an outcome which Te Rūnanga will now take to the Court of Appeal. Official papers were lodged with the Court of Appeal on Friday September 11.

It is Te Rūnanga’s view that the Waitangi Tribunal should not be able to contradict a decision of the Māori Appellate Court which gives legal support to the extent of the Ngāi Tahu takiwā as defined by its northern boundary. This boundary was formalised in Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Act 1996 and the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998. The Māori Appellate Court finding has been twice upheld by the Privy Council.

Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon says, Ngāi Tahu reluctantly embarked on long court processes, “However this issue is hugely important to the Whānui. It is part of the responsibility of this generation to uphold our tribal territory, as recognised in statute, and protect our established customary rights. We cannot shirk from this responsibility.”