May 25, 2015
Mangatu wins tribunal rehearing
The Waitangi Tribunal has been caned by the High Court for trying to sit on the fence over an application to use its power to return land to claimants.
Mangatu Incorporation wants to get back forest land it was forced to sell to the crown in the 1960s, but the government wants to use the land for the Te Aitanga a Mahaaki settlement.
It had to go to the Supreme Court to make the tribunal hold a remedies hearing, but its application for a binding recommendation was then declined by the tribunal.
Mangatu says in making its decision the tribunal deferred unlawfully to the crown’s policy of only making settlements with claimants who represent large natural groupings.
High Court Justice Denis Clifford ruled the tribunal had indeed taken irrelevant considerations into account.
He quashed the Mangatu Remedies Report and ordered the tribunal to reconsider the applications for binding recommendations in terms of his judgment.
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