2004-2005 Maori L. Rev. 1 (2004-2005)

handle is hein.journals/maori2004 and id is 1 raw text is: February 2004
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Waitomo caves settlement - successions
High Court - hapo occupation of Maori
incorporation land - damages award
High Court - meaning of taonga - use of term by
High Court - sale of land with land transfer title -
effect of Maori land claim
High Court - Mataurai X - Maori land under
mortgage - validity of mortgage
Foreshore and seabed debate

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Tom Bennion
PO Box 23280 Cable Car Lane
Wellington, New Zealand
Phone (04) 473 5755
Fax (04) 473 5751
Email tom@bennion.co.nz
Rebecca Paton, Malcolm Birdling
Tom Bennion
PO Box 23280 Cable Car Lane
Wellington, New Zealand

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 Copyright Tom Bennion 2003
This issue may be cited as:
Maori LR Feb 04
ISSN 1172-8434

Re Hauturu East Section 8 Block
20 APWM 158. 30 May 2003. Deputy CJ Isaac, Wickliffe,
2   MilroyJJ
This case concerned disputed succession orders over the
Hauturu East Block Section 8 containing the Waitomo
5   Caves, a major tourist destination. The land (formerly
in 2 blocks) was taken compulsorily under the Public
Works Act in 1905 and 1911. A claim was lodged with
the Waitangi Tribunal seeking the return of the land.
8   The claim was referred to mediation and the parties agreed
on a settlement involving the return the land. The Crown
filed applications with the Maori Land Court in 1990 to
vest the land in the original owners at the date of taking
by the Crown. Immediately after the vesting occurred,
an order was made vesting the block in a trust known as
the Ruapuha Uekaha Hapo Trust, and the beneficiaries
were defined as all descendants of the owners at the time
the blocks were taken by the Crown. This was all done
under s438 Maori Affairs Act 1953.

Several descendants applied for succession orders. The
Maori Land Court dismissed the application, finding that,
while the land was vested in the original owners it was
never intended that they be regarded as absolute owners
and subject to rights of succession. The applicants
Held: it is clear that the lower Court was influenced in
its decision by the context in which the settlement was
made. Waitangi Tribunal claims are often claims ranging
over various breaches of the principles of the Treaty,
and the settlements made may be intended as global
settlements, rather than settlements of particular grievances.
The Ngai Tahu settlement and the fisheries settlements
are examples of such settlements. Land may be returned
as compensation for grievances suffered by the hapu or
iwi as a whole. In such cases, if the land were vested in
tupuna, and if there was no specific indication that they
were to take as full owners, it is reasonable to assume
that the land is vested in trust for the hapu or iwi as a
This case involved a particular grievance which personally
affected the original owners of the land. The claimants
had advised the land court through their lawyer that the
land was to be re-vested in the 4 original owners who
were 'non-sellers' (ie owners would not part with the
land under any conditions) to hold the land for the benefit
of the Ruapuha and Uekaha hapia. However, the terms
of settlement referred to the land being vested in the

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