5 Dec 2014

Chair offers talks with aggrieved hapu

1:53 pm on 5 December 2014

Ngapuhi chair Sonny Tau has offered an olive branch to hapu challenging his right to lead Treaty negotiations for the iwi.

Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau

Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Mr Tau was giving evidence at a Waitangi Tribunal inquiry into the mandate of Tuhoronuku, the authority he chaired.

Under cross-examination he agreed only 47 of the more-than 100 Ngapuhi hapu were represented on the authority, and a number of hapu did not endorse the people supposedly representing them.

But Mr Tau said those people were elected by more people than ever turned up at hapu hui, and the rights of Ngapuhi in Auckland or Australia who voted were as important as those of hapu at home.

He said the mandate was robust, but might need tweaking, and that Tuhoronuku was willing to hold talks with the aggrieved hapu.

"I strongly believe that Tuhoronuku's mandate from the people of Ngapuhi is robust, but if i had my time again I would perhaps do some things differently and this is an opening for people to suggest to us how that could be done."

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