3 Jul 2014

Ngapuhi suspicious of council plans

7:29 am on 3 July 2014

Ngapuhi Runanga has admitted it is suspicious of Northland Regional Council's Maori representative committee.

The first meeting of Te Tai Tokerau Maori advisory committee was held on Monday at Otiria Marae in Moerewa.

Chairperson, former Maori Affairs minister Dover Samuels, said although the council wants to include Maori in regional decision-making, Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi didn't appear to be supportive of the initiative.

Dover Samuels

Dover Samuels Photo: Parliament

Chairperson of the Ngapuhi tribal authority, Sonny Tau, told Te Manu Korihi that his tribe is wary of the advisory committee.

He said it is only now that the current council sees having a direct relationship with iwi as critical if they are to survive the local body commissioner's axe.

Mr Tau said the council has only invited one Ngapuhi hapu on to the advisory committee.

He said he told Mr Samuels that he didn't want to create a situation for hapu to fight among themselves, and that all sub-tribes should be invited around the table.

Mr Tau said at no time in the past has the Northland Regional Council even remotely considered Maori in their plans.