A trust representing an iwi claiming rangatiratanga (chiefly authority) over the iconic Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands has been granted leave by the Supreme Court to appeal a Court of Appeal decision against it.

The Minister of Conservation granted concessions under conservation legislation for guided tours on the motu by a commercial operator and an island restoration trust, in the face of iwi objection.

The trust had itself obtained concessions for walking tours (focussing on Māori history), but, faced with competition from the other parties, and the reality of being unable to compete with the commercial operator, decided to seek review of the granting of the other concessions.

The Court of Appeal, in particular, discussed the relevance of rangatiratanga and manaakitanga (the hosting and care of visitors) to the decisions in question, but ultimately declined the appeal.

Of particular note in the judgments is the discussion relating to the interplay between legislation, Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles, and tikanga.

The hearing before the Supreme Court is scheduled for 14 and 15 August 2018.

The case promises to be of great interest, especially in how considerations such as manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) are dealt with.

Watch this space…