Nearly six years after the Crown approved a mandate to settle the treaty claims of Ngati Rehua, its being challenged with allegations that genealogy records have been manipulated to separate the true beneficiaries from their ancestral lands on Great Barrier Island.
Claimant Elizabeth Bayne (WAI 2556) says, "records were altered to enable the histories of this subtribe of Ngati Wai to be re-written. “Our whakapapa has been re-written. There are books on the shelves in the libraries of Ngāti Rehua of Tainui and Ngāti Wai doesn't even exist.”
Counsel for Ms Bayne have filed for an urgent hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal claiming that the Crown has consistently failed to comply with it own policy with regard to the entity mandated to conduct formal negotiations.
Te Kaea are awaiting a comment from the mandated body "Ngati Rehua - Ngāti Wai ki Aotea. It's a matter of significant interest as its now the third case in Northland where claimants have applied for an urgent hearing to investigate a mandate recognised by the Crown following the Ngapuhi and Ngati Wai applications which were both successful.
Elizabeth says, “I have been going up and down the country talking to the old people and I've been getting signatures from the old people of Ngāti Wai and I will continue to do that until I get my urgent hearing and then I will have my day in court.”
A decision from the Waitangi Tribunal on this matter is now pending.