Ngāi Tahu Judicial Review Proceedings Discontinued

1 Poutū-te-rangi 2023

Late last year Te Ohu Kaimoana undertook a commitment to openly communicate with iwi regarding the judicial review proceedings issued by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu relating to proposed amendments to the Maori Fisheries Act Amendment Bill. This review was in response to the resolution passed at the 2016 Te Ohu Kai Moana Group Annual General Meeting, in favour of equal sharing of surplus funds. This is the fourth update for iwi; our three prior communications can be found here and also any other available supplementary information.

This pānui covers the events in the Ngāi Tahu Judicial review proceedings from 8 February 2023 until 1 March 2023.

On 9 February, in accordance with the 7 February Court Minute, the Court notified parties that the date of the interlocutory hearing on whether the stay of proceedings is appropriate was scheduled for 21 February. A copy of the notice can be found here.

On 10 February Ngāi Tahu filed a notice and a supporting memorandum in opposition to Te Ohu Kaimoana’s 1 February 2023 application to vary or rescind the Court’s January 27 Minute.

On 21 February the interlocutory hearing took place. Ngāi Tahu, Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Crown and Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc. appeared and presented their arguments. The Court reserved its judgement at the hearing.

On 27 February the Court delivered its judgement, approving Te Ohu Kaimoana’s application to rescind the Court’s 27 Jan Minute, which had the effect of rescinding the stay of proceedings sought by Ngāi Tahu. The Court accepted that while rescinding the stay would result in disadvantages to Ngāi Tahu, they were not outweighed by the disadvantages to Te Ohu Kaimoana, as outlined by Counsel for Te Ohu Kaimoana, that would occur if the stay was granted.

A copy of the decision can be found here. Further details on the position of each party in relation to stay application and the disadvantages described can be found in the decision.

On 1 March 2023 Ngāi Tahu, in line with their previous undertakings that they would discontinue the proceedings if the stay was rescinded, filed a notice of discontinuance. This notice had the effect of concluding the Judicial Review proceedings.

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