INDEPENDENT NEWS

Public Inquiry Sought Into Maunganui Bluff Claim

Published: Thu 16 Dec 1999 11:11 AM
The One New Zealand Foundation has asked the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, for a public inquiry into the Maori claim to the properties at Maunganui Bluff formerly part of the Titford and Harrison farms.
Ross Baker, researcher for the One New Zealand Foundation, says that a public inquiry must be made into the Te Roror Claim Wai 38, after the Chairman of the WaItangi Tribunal, Chief Justice Eddie Durie, stated in November that many claims before the Tribunal were based on false and fabricated evidence.
Mr Baker claims his research has produced documented evidence that the latest claim to the Titford and Harrison farms was based on fabricated evidence.
"We can find absolutely no evidence to substantiate this claim including the evidence in the Waitangi Tribunal report, the 2000 documents kindly supplied by the Tribunal or the documents alleged missing from this report which we have since located," says Mr Baker.
"In this case the claimants have introduced unsubstantiated evidence that had nothing to do with the original negotiations over this land. This includes a plan ML 3297 - 8 of disputed origin of the areas Manuwhetai and Whangaiariki on which the modern claim is based. No mention of this so-called evidence or areas was made at the time of the original negotiations and sale agreement with the Crown in 1876.
"This claim had already been investigated in 1876 and again in 1939 when it was rejected by Parlliament on the findings and recommendation of Chief Judge Shepherd.
Together with a majority of New Zealanders, the One New Zealand Foundation supports genuine claims for lands wrongfully appropriated, but this goodwill turns to resentment when we are told by Mr Durie that many Maori claims are based on false and fabricated evidence - as seems to be the case in this claim."
ENDS....

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