When making a kaupapa claim in the Waitangi Tribunal, a key question that must first be asked is whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear your claim. 

One issue that arises when dealing with eligibility for a kaupapa inquiry is whether an individual who has whakapapa to an iwi or hapū that have had their historical claims settled through legislation are eligible to bring a claim.

A decision by the Military Veterans Tribunal has indicated that, subject to certain caveats, the Tribunal will have jurisdiction to hear non-descent based claims of individual Māori, whether singly or associated in groups.

A key caveat to this is where the specific claim number, which is intending to participate in the kaupapa inquiry, has been listed in the settlement legislation as being fully settled.

It is likely that questions around eligibility and jurisdiction will continue to arise in further kaupapa inquiries.

Watch this space for further developments.