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Ngati Apa Ki Te Waipounamu Trust v (1) Attorney General (2) Maori Appellate Court (3) Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu [2006] UKPC 49

A Maori tribe was to be regarded as having had due notice of, and as having been properly represented in, proceedings before the Maori Appeal Court concerning a dispute over the ownership of land.

10 November 2006

The appellant trust (N), which had been formed to represent the people and interests of a Maori tribe (X), appealed against a decision of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand that X had been sufficiently represented in proceedings before the Maori Appeal Court (MAC) relating to the ownership of an area of land. In 1990, the MAC had determined that another tribe owned the land. An association formed in 1989 (R) to represent a number of tribes had held itself out as acting for X, and the MAC accepted that it represented X. N, which had first raised the question of representation in 1999, argued that only some people from X had known of the proceedings before the MAC and that was not sufficient.

HELD: Appeal dismissed

What mattered was whether R could fairly be treated as having represented X, so that X could in turn fairly be regarded as having participated in and as bound by the decision of the MAC. It would have been desirable for those able to claim any ancestry of X to h...

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