2001-2002 Maori L. Rev. 1 (2001-2002)

handle is hein.journals/maori2001 and id is 1 raw text is: February 2001
0alo     La     Review

Privy Council appeals                      1
High Court - roadways over general land    2
High Court - Orakei Act 1991 & authority
of Ngarti Whatua                           4
High Court - More Tainui meetings          4
Moutoa Gardens settlement                  6
Native title in Australia - the Yorta Yorta appeal 6

Tom Bennion
PO Box 23280 Cable Car Lane
Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: (04) 473 5755
Fax:  (04) 473 5755
Email: bennion@actrix.co.nz
Geoff Melvin
Web Site:

North American Sales:
Gaunt, Inc
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Phone: 914 778 521 I
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 CopyrightTom Bennion 2001
This issue may be cited as:
Maori LR Feb 2001
ISSN 1172-8434

Appeals to the Privy Council
The Government is considering again whether appeals
to the Privy Council should end (Reshaping New Zealand's
Appeal Structure. Discussion Paper. December 2000.
and see also Miori LR May 1996 p3).
One concern has been the perception that the Privy
Council has historically been protective of Maori interests
where the government has been hostile or opposed to
those interests. The cases of Nireaha Tamaki v Baker
[1901] AC 561 and Wallis v Solicitor-General [1903] AC
173 are usually mentioned, and more recently, NZMdori
Council v A-G (Broadcasting) [1994] 1 NZLR 513 (see
Mdori LR May 1996 p4. However, the Privy Council
has not always been viewed so positively.
In 1901 East Coast Maori took legal action against an
investment company that had been noted as the owner
of several blocks of land under the Land Transfer Act
which the plaintiffs claimed had been originally acquired
from them by fraud. The Court of Appeal upheld the
plaintiffs' case. The matter was appealed to the Privy
Council, which found against the Maori plaintiffs.
Subsequently, a petition was filed calling on Parliament
to rectify the matter. It stated:
'That your Petitioners in common with the whole Maori
race are content to be governed by the Crown under
the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi, they loyally
obey the laws passed by the Parliament, and they submit
to the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of
Appeal of New Zealand, especially in relation to their
land, knowing that the Parliament is anxious to protect
the Maoris, and that the judges of the Supreme Court
and the Court of Appeal have complete knowledge of
the meaning and intention of the Acts passed regarding
the Natives and their lands, being intimately acquainted
with the wrongs which existed and the remedies which
parliament applied to address those wrongs.
That your Petitioners object to the decisions of the New
Zealand Judges upon Native Land Laws being referred
to a Court in England whose judges know nothing of
the Laws they are they called upon to interpret, and
who are entirely ignorant of the circumstances surrounding
Native legislation and the wrongs and remedies proposed
to be dealt with therein.
The petition also argued:
That the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in
all cases sent to it from New Zealand is purely a Colonial

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