Ngāpuhi leader defends change in mandate voting system

9:32 am on 2 December 2018

A Ngāpuhi leader is defending a change in voting rules as the iwi goes to the polls on a new plan for its Treaty negotiations.

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Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Lawyer and hapu speaker Moana Tuwhare said the mandate process was turning into a dog's breakfast.

She said thousands of Ngāpuhi people who voted as individuals were now allowed to have their votes counted in the parallel hapu ballot as well, if they listed their hapu.

Ms Tuwhare said those people would have voted not knowing their votes might be counted in that way, and others won't have listed all their hapu.

"The individual votes that have already gone in weren't aware that their vote might be counted in this manner so there's a massive flaw in the process."

But Hone Sadler from the Crown-iwi working group Tuhono, said it made the change because some hapu requested it.

Hone Sadler said the voting provision applied only to those hapu who wanted to use it.

Moana Tuwhare said legal challenges were inevitable with the rules changing halfway through.

The Ngāpuhi mandate marathon will continue in the north this weekend at more than 20 endorsement hui.