Going to hearings
Hearings are held so the Tribunal can hear evidence from claimants and from other parties, including the Crown. Anyone participating in a hearing may ask questions on evidence being presented. The parties will make submissions on the questions raised in the inquiry.
Tribunal hearings can differ in the types of evidence that are presented. One of these is Ngā Korero Tuku Iho hearings, at which claimants present oral and traditional evidence in person. This kind of hearing focuses on tribal history. They are claimant-led and enable the Tribunal to hear traditional kōrero in an appropriate cultural context. Other types of hearing can include the hearing of technical evidence – usually research undertaken by professional researchers such as historians, and hearings where witnesses for claimant groups, such as kaumatua, can present their evidence directly to the Tribunal. Usually hearings contain a mix of different types of evidence.
Hearings are normally open to the public and can be held in a variety of locations all over New Zealand. They are most often held at Marae but can be held in community venues such as town-halls, conference centres or hotels.
How claims are grouped
In general, the Tribunal groups claims into inquiries according to the common issues that exist between them. Examples are claims that fall within a particular district inquiry or claims that concern certain national issues.
Research for hearing
Preparing for hearing
As the research for an inquiry district is finalised, Tribunal staff will liaise with claimants and their representatives about how the hearings will be run.
What happens at hearing
In certain circumstances, the Tribunal may decide to urgently inquire into a claim. In considering an application for urgency, the Tribunal will look at a number of factors. In order to be granted an urgent hearing, claimants must establish that their claim addresses an imminent Crown action or omission, that that action will cause significant and irreversible prejudice, that there is no alternative path to resolving the issue available, and that they are already ready to proceed to hearing.
Typically an urgent hearing will consist of an expedited process of hearing and reporting.
Once a claim has been inquired into and reported on by the Tribunal, it is possible for claimants to apply for a remedies hearing. This is a special kind of hearing where the Tribunal looks exclusively at remedies available to the claimants.
Information on our current hearings
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