Ngāi Te Rangi is disputing a treaty claim by Hauraki iwi which includes Matakana island.
Hauata Palmer of Ngāi Te Rangi says they are the mana whenua of the island and Hauraki iwi have no right to claim any part of it.
He says, “They say that their region extends from Matakana to Matakana, but to me that is not right, it's rubbish, so this Matakana is not region.”
As a child growing up on the island, Palmer says he's never heard of Hauraki having any interest in the land there.
“Only recently have they been saying this and it’s not something from our history. If it is, we will research and analyse this to ascertain whether it is correct. But it is only of recent time that these claims have been made.”
A spokesperson for Hauraki said they didn't want to respond to Palmer’s comments. They also declined to comment on their claims to Matakana Island.
However, the Hauraki.iwi.nz website clearly states, Mai Matakana ki Matakana. From Matakana in the south to Matakana in the north.
Palmer adds, “We met with them in the past to discuss this issue, and we thought it was sorted. It looks like they want to revisit the issue.”
Palmer hopes a decision on the claim can be made as soon as possible.