October 06, 2013
Funds set aside for northern claim process
The chair of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust says the trust has the money to fund both direct negotiations of Northland claims and the rest of the scheduled Waitangi Tribunal hearings.
At the moment the trust is funding neither negotiations nor Te Paparahi O Te Raki hearings because of legal advice that the process it adopted breached its trust deed.
There are also questions which need to be resolved by the High Court over how alternate trustees can be appointed when there are conflicts of interest.
Angela Foulkes says she hopes the disputes can be resolved soon, but the money will still be there if the Crown accepts the mandate of the Tuhoronuku group to start direct negotiations.
"We do have in our budgets sufficient funding to fund the 21 weeks of hearings and to fund direct negotiations. How that might work, what trustees might decide is not for me to preconsider but I can assure people in the north because I think sometimes people are worried about it, the trust does have the funding budgeted to get through to the end of the process in the north," she says.
This week's Waitangi Tribunal hearing at Waipapa is being paid for by the Crown.
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