Claimants who have been living "double lives" while involved in an inquiry examining breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi will present closing statements for the final time.
Claimants will present closing statements to the Waitangi Tribunal at Otangaroa Marae in Kaeo next week during Week 25, the penultimate hearing week and the final claimant hearing week, in the Te Paparahi o Te Raki Inquiry.
The Te Paparahi o Te Raki (Northland) inquiry (Wai 1040), presided over by Judge Craig Coxhead, is inquiring into around 420 claims. They have been brought by hapu from Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai, Ngati Hine, Patuharakeke, Ngati Rehua, Ngati Whatua and Ngati Manuhiri.
Anaru Kira, chairman of Whangaroa Papa Hapu - the collective group of Whangaroa claimants, said it has been a complex process so it was important to bring it to a close.
"We're living double lives so to speak. Whanau and hapu are endeavouring to survive yet are committing so much of their own time and their own personal resources to address the issues they feel are critical to the hearing."
Te Paparahi o Te Raki is a two stage Waitangi Tribunal inquiry covering Northland lands.
Stage one of the inquiry, which began in May 2010 and concluded with closing submissions in February 2011, resulted in a report in 2014 which found Ngapuhi never ceded their sovereignty when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi.
Stage two of the inquiry, which began in March 2013, has involved weeks of hearings inquiring into the around 420 Treaty claims brought by hapu from Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai, Ngati Hine, Patuharakeke, Ngati Rehua, Ngati Whatua and Ngati Manuhiri.
Mr Kira said the hearings were about what happened since 1840 and they were important to ensure history was detailed factually.
He said during the hearings a number of issues had been raised including economic and social deprivation; the loss of resources and land; and the effects earlier settlers and missionaries had on hapu.
"In some circumstances the whole arena has been emotional. Because what you're doing is detailing information that hasn't been privy to people before. So a lot of emotions are attached to these historical sequences, and rightfully so."
The final hearing week in September will see the Crown present its closing submissions.
Once the Tribunal has completed its hearings for stage two, the process of writing the report, which will include recommendations, will begin. It is unknown how long this process could take.
"What we hope to then proceed is a deep report from the Waitangi Tribunal because that will scale what the effect has been on whanau and hapu," Mr Kira said.
The hearing will run from July 31 to August 4 with a powhiri scheduled for Sunday.