24 Sep 2018

Ngāpuhi in Australia want to be a part of Treaty settlement

7:01 am on 24 September 2018

Māori of Ngāpuhi descent living in Australia have told Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little they do not want another generation to miss out on a Treaty settlement.

Minister for Justice Andrew Little answers media questions before heading into the debating chamber.

Andrew Little Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

About 25,000 Ngāpuhi live in Australia and Mr Little met with some during a hui in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth at the weekend.

Mr Little went with leaders from Tuhoronuku and Te Kōtahitanga - the two groups negotiating with the Crown - to lay out a proposed settlement for the country's largest iwi.

Mr Little said those he met with did not want to miss out on a settlement because they lived overseas and feared their connection with Ngāpuhi would be lost if they were not part of the redress.

Mr Little said he invested a lot of his own time in engaging and "it's important to recognise a large number of Ngāpuhi live in Australia''.

"Even at this point, before anything gets to a vote, there's still a long way to go."

It was important to show the Crown was serious about engaging with all Ngāpuhi, which is why he wanted to make the effort to have hui in Australia.

"I've got to be very careful representing the Crown that I don't look like I'm interfering in Ngāpuhi issues.'

"I'm going to keep the pressure on Crown officials but I make no apology for keeping the pressure on Ngāpuhi."

Mr Little said those living in Australia had different experiences and now that they were having kids of their own, who were Australian citizens, their experiences as Ngāpuhi descendants would be different again.

He said dollar figures were not part of discussions yet.

"There's a very genuine dimension to all this that although we want to get things moving and get things across the line, we don't want to do it with undue haste."