Oliver Sutherland – The story of WAI 262
WAI 262 – the Native Flora and Fauna Claim to the Waitangi Tribunal – is a testament to the vision of five Māori leaders and their lawyer. Drafted in 1989 and lodged in 1991, the claim had its origins in the 1970s and 1980s when Māori demanded access to and involvement in the processes of government science and research, asserting, at the same time, tino rangatiratanga over the native species of Aotearoa and the associated traditional knowledge. Twenty or so years would pass before the Tribunal issued its report, by which time all but one of the claimants had died. Their legacy is with us still.