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Ed Sheeran

Tribunal puts Te Ohāki Tapu back on table
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Ngāti Maniapoto claimants say the latest findings from the Waitangi Tribunal set a platform to revive a treaty the crown is pretending doesn't exist.

Part three of the tribunal's Rohe Pōtae Report looks at the way Te Ohāki Tapu, the agreement made in the 1880s to allow the main trunk railway through the King Country, was almost immediately set aside by the crown.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board deputy chair Keith Ikin says that's a blow for the crown, which throughout the tribunal process tried to downplay the commitments it made to get the railway land.

"One of our rangatira of the time, Wahanui Huatare said to the crown 'When you come through our territory, don't look to the left and don't look to the right.' What he meant by that was you stick withn the agreed arrangement around the allocation of land. The Land Court was to have no jurisdiction in the King Country and there was to be no alcohol," he says.

Within a few years of the railway going through the Land Court set up shop in the King Country, and within 40 years more than 400,000 hectares of land had been alienated.

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