Ngāti Whātua is challenging the Crown over its plans to transfer property in its rohe in central Auckland to a Hauraki iwi.

It's taken the case to the Supreme Court in Wellington because they're concerned that whenua in the heart of their rohe could become part of a future treaty settlement with the Marutūahu Collective.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei board member Joe Pihema claims the crown is ignoring iwi territorial rights.

“Ko te kerēme a Marutūahu ki roto o Tāmaki Makaurau koia nā te take kua tae mai mātou ngā uri a Tuperiri me ngā kaitautoko hoki o Ngāi Te Rangi, o Muriwhenua o Tainui-Waikato. Kei kōnei hoki a Nanaia Mahuta ki te tautoko i te take nei kei mua i te aroaro o te Kōti Matua.”

Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says is sympathetic to the Ngāti Whātua criticism.

“Kāre e kore he tino take tā Ngāti Whātua ki tērā taone nunui. Ko te tino whakapae kia tāwharau ngā wāhanga katoa ki a rātou nei take tiriti kia kāua e ngau tētahi atu ki tērā kirimana.”

Pihema also says but they are concerned their land may be taken to give to Marutūahu Collective from Hauraki.

“Kua tau kē ngā kerēme o Ngāti Whātua - kua oti kē tērā āhuatanga ēngari kua hoki mai a Reipa hei kāwanatanga, kua hoki mai rātou, me te kī mai anei te kerēme a Marutūahu kua tango mātou i ngā whenua o Ngāti Whātua - kei te kī ake mātou: kei te hē tērā.”

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says iwi are entitled to proceed through the Supreme Courts.

“There's been three years of consultation with Ngāti Whātua over this. They don't like the idea of any other iwi that might have some claims, however small, in their area of interest. That's what the contest really is about, that's why they've gone to the Supreme Court, that's why they've been to every other level of the court system and haven't succeeded there. They're entitled to do that let's see what happens, let's see what the court judgement is and the Crown will always abide by that.”

The Marutūahu spokesperson, Paul Majurey, declined to speak to Te Karere because the matter is before the court.

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