May 08, 2015
Claim Northland legal bill tops $5m a year
The Crown says it spent more than $5 million last year on legal aid for Te Paparahi o Te Raki claimants in Northland.
It has told the Waitangi Tribunal it rejects suggestions from claimant lawyers that there has been a lack of Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Crown and legal aid funding.
In a memorandum relating to next week’s scheduled judicial conference to plan the final hearings and closing statements, it estimated the CFRT provided more than $10 million for the inquiry.
The Crown also paid for six weeks of stage two hearings when the CFRT was unable to come to the party because of an internal dispute over its funding processes.
Crown Law also rejected the suggestion that accepting the Ngapuhi Runanga-backed group Tuhoronuku’s mandate to negotiate a settlement was prejudicial to claimants.
The mandate process is the subject of a separate tribunal inquiry.
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