July 08, 2013
CFRT funding impasse overshadows hearing
The third week of hearings before the Waitangi Tribunal of Te Paparahi o te Raki claims has started in Kerikeri despite a continued dispute about funding from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.
The Government agreed to directly fund the first four weeks of hearings to give the trust time to sort out issues over interpretation of the trust deed.
Trustees appointed by the New Zealand Māori Council, Sir Taihakurei Durie and Maanu Paul, have been at odds with those appointed by the Crown and the Federation for Maori Authorities.
They want the trust to make clear it will fund all 21 weeks of hearing, rather than have the risk it will drop funding if the Crown enters direct negotiations with some claimants.
Pita Tipene, the chair or Te Kotahitanga ō Ngā Hapū ō Ngapuhi, says uncertainty over funding has clouded preparations for the hearings.
"We’ve got the business to do up here. We're just really disappointed that for whatever reason, what I've quoted as narcissism has come to the fore among some of the leadership in the CFRT. They need to resolve their differences because the Ngapuhi people are the victims of their inadequacies," he says.
This week the tribunal is hearing from Whangaroa claimants.
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