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Ed Sheeran

Dates set for Maori Council stoush

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Lawyers for New Zealand Maori Council chair Sir Taihakurei Durie want the High Court to strike out an application for judicial review by his former co-chair.

Maanu Paul, who chairs the Maatatua District Maori Council, claims the April meeting where Sir Taihakurei was elected sole chair was unlawful.

Mr Paul had called his own meeting in February where he was elected chair, but there was a challenge over whether there were enough eligible members to make a quorum.

He also wants the High Court to rule against the council using Sir Taihakurei’s wife Donna Hall as its solicitor.

In a minute released after this week’s judicial conference, Justice Robert Dobson gave lawyer Felix Geiringer until December 12 to file a strike out application.

If he doesn’t, the case will be heard in April.

While the Government has frozen out the New Zealand Maori Council, preferring to consult with the Iwi Leaders Group, it is leading the Waitangi Tribunal claim to determine what treaty property rights or interests Maori have in water.

It also has a role in determining the future of Te Putea Whakatupu Trust, which has more than $20 million to use for the benefit of Maori who can not access the benefits of the Maori fisheries settlement through their iwi.

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