Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says he is heartened to hear that more hapu are ready to negotiate a treaty settlement in the north.
The Ngāpuhi authority Tūhoronuku said it has had 28 more nominations for hapu kaikōrero, and that has strengthened its mandate to negotiate for Ngāpuhi.
Mr Henare said hapu who have boycotted Tūhoronuku may be more ready to join now that its chair, Sonny Tau, has stepped down.
He said the crucial question was whether the new nominees actually had the backing of those they sought to represent.
The MP said that had been the issue for Ngāti Hine and a number of hapū, who were nominally represented on Tūhoronuku by people they had not endorsed.
Mr Henare said, as far as he knew, the position of his Ngāti Hine people remained unchanged: the influential Ngāpuhi sub-tribe has opposed settlement by Tūhoronuku from the start.
Tūhoronuku said it was energised by the hapū voices now taking part in the negotiation process.
It was awaiting full results from Elections New Zealand to say how many more hapu are now represented on the authority.