Māori group claiming Sydney land in Australian court case

A group of Māori have taken their fight to gain control of land in Sydney they say belongs to them to Australia's Federal Court.

In May, Lady Crown, on behalf of "Ngati Rangihou Corrangie Hapu", filed papers against the Parramatta City Council. They claim that 112 acres of land in Parramatta was gifted to Te Ruki Kawiti by Aboriginal people in 1811, witnessed by missionary Samuel Marden.

The land now makes up parts of Parramatta's James Ruse Reserve, Robin Thomas Reserve, and the Rangihou Reserve, according to 9News. It also includes part of the Parramatta river.

"We are Ngati Rangihou Corrangie Hapu and we are here to reclaim Rangihou land," Lady Crown told 9News on Wednesday.

"We want acknowledgement and recognition. We want the history books corrected and compensation for damages of the land.

"We have the first laws in time. So our laws stand above any other law in the land."

However, 9News reports the City of Parramatta Council said in a statement that it disputes the claim and has applied to have the matter dismissed.

The city's heritage centre says a number of grants to the land were purchased by Marsden throughout the late 1700s and early 1800s. 

The Rangihou Reserve - named after Rangihou Bay in the Bay of Islands - was "central to Māori activity in Australia in the early 1800s" due to Marsden setting up a school and farm on the land used by Māori visitors.

"Our burial sites, sacred sites, sacred landmarks, and connection to land have led this Originee and Mauri family group to bring the Parramatta City Council to the Federal Court with an application to wind up the Parramatta City Council and reclaim the land," a statement from the group said on Wednesday.

According to 9News, a ruling on the matter is expected in the coming weeks.

Newshub / 9News.