A legal dispute between Crown Forestry Rental Trust trustees could have an impact on Ngapuhi seeking funding for Treaty grievance claims now being heard by the Waitangi Tribunal, Northland-based Labour list MP Shane Jones said yesterday.
He was referring to Sir Edward "Eddie" Taihakurei Durie lodging a High Court application to test the legality of trust chairwoman Angela Foulkes to appoint alternates over selections made by Maori-appointed members of the trust - Sir Eddie, his Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul and Federation of Maori Authorities' appointee Alan Haronga.
Mr Jones described as "murky" the trust's process for selecting alternates when trustees dealt with issues of potential conflict.
He expected the application to be heard later this month by Justice Joe Williams.
The MP said it was almost dereliction of duty for the CFRT trustees to have created a dispute making claimants the victims and he advised Ms Foulkes to be wary dealing with Sir Eddie, who had a leading role in the development of the trust.
Mr Jones said he feared ructions in the CFRT could slow progress in the North where, because of a CFRT block on funding, the Crown is paying for the first two weeks of the stage 2 hearings of the tribunal's Te Paparahi o Te Raki inquiry.