The High Court in Auckland has made a ruling that ends a legal battle over who is the official vestry of a Maori pastorate in Northland.
The Court has ruled that representatives of the vestry for the Parengarenga-Ahipara-Peria Anglican Maori Pastorate are entitled to funds left as a bequest to the Pastorate.
The funds, initially $250,000, have been frozen since 2002. At that time a spilt in the pastorate led to competing claims.
A group who had broken away from Hui Amorangi ki te Tai Tokerau claimed authority over the funds, now in excess of $450,000.
The Court has ruled that as the claimants do not recognise or sit within the authority structures of the Anglican Church, they are not entitled to the funds.
The Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau, Rt Rev'd Kito Pikaahu, acknowledges the work of the court, and says it's important that ministry through the church will continue in Northland for the good of the entire community.
He hopes that despite the disagreement there is a way forward for all to tell that story together.