10 Mar 2015

Ngapuhi group to appoint negotiators

6:59 am on 10 March 2015

The group authorised by the Crown to settle Ngapuhi Treaty claims says it is about to appoint negotiators.

Lawyers at the Waitangi Tribunal Ngapuhi Mandate urgency hearing.

Lawyers at the Waitangi Tribunal Ngapuhi Mandate urgency hearing. Photo: RNZ / Gareth Thomas

Tuhoronuku said it intended to initially fill three positions, although there were up to six slots available.

Writing to the Waitangi Tribunal, the group's lawyers said the negotiators would first of all focus on the hapu of Ngapuhi to work out what they wanted from a settlement.

From those meetings they said an engagement plan would be drawn up containing hapu profiles, which would inform negotiation strategies related to each sub-tribe's interests.

The memo said while there may be meetings between Tuhoronuku and Crown negotiators, it was not expected that delegates would start substantive talks until the second half of this year.

The decision to press ahead with the appointment of a negotiating team comes less than a week after the Waitangi Tribunal's urgent hearing into the Ngapuhi Mandate, led by hapu lawyers rejecting the way the iwi's runanga board, Tuhoronuku, was selected by the Crown.