December 15, 2014
Veterans to have case heard
Claimants and lawyerrs are preparing for a judicial conference this week that should set the scope for the Waitangi Tribunal inquiry into the treatment of Maori military veterans.
It will be dealt with under a new regime for kaupapa claims which is being developed now the historic claim hearings are drawing to an end.
An information hui was held in Mangere last night by south Auckland firm Tamaki legal, which wants to get involved in the long-standing claim.
Lawyer Barney Tupara from East Coast iwi Ngati Oneone says it will be a chance to look at issues like the high casualty rates in Maori units, attitudes towards promotion, lower pension rates and the exclusion of Maori service people from land ballots after the war.
He says the decision of Chief Judge Wilson Isaac to extend the scope of the inquiry back to the Land Wars of the 19th century, where many Maori fought on the side of the Crown, could uncover some old wounds.
"Even back home on the East Coast I went to several hui where descendants of those people seemed to be kupapa were saying 'Hey, when you look at our korero, our people went through some serious stuff and our ancestors were forced into that situation,' and I am looking forward to the research revealing a few very sad stories about those people," Mr Tupara says.
He says many veterans came back with issues of alcohol and violence that affected future generations.
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