14 Jan 2017

'Positive' outcome from Ngāpuhi meeting

4:06 pm on 14 January 2017

A meeting to get Ngāpuhi's treaty settlement process back on track has been described as positive and very good for the iwi.

A group of protesters - including members of rival faction Te Kotahitanga - take to the streets to oppose Tūhoronuku's appointment to carry out treaty negotiations on behalf of Ngāpuhi.

A group of protesters oppose Tūhoronuku's appointment to carry out treaty negotiations on behalf of Ngāpuhi in 2015. Photo: TE KOTAHITANGA

The meeting took place yesterday in Auckland and was chaired by the Treaty Settlement minister, Chris Finlayson.

Hone Sadler, chair of Tūhoronuku - the mandated iwi authority - said there was a good discussion and he was optimistic about the path ahead.

As well as Tūhoronuku, there were also members of Te Kotahitanga at the meeting.

Hone Blake Sadler

Hone Sadler. Photo: University of Auckland

Te Kotahitanga represents a large group of hapū and had been been at odds with Tūhoronuku over who should negotiate what is likely to be the country's biggest Treaty settlement.

The Ngāpuhi claim has a history of stand-offs, resignations and bust-ups, but yesterday's meeting marks a change of tone in the process.

Mr Sadler said the two groups would now work together towards getting a settlement for Ngāpuhi as soon as possible.

"The transition group will now meet to look at the way forward. And this is a joint transition group made up of Tūhoronuku and of Te Kotahitanga."

"It's a good outcome for Ngāpuhi," he said.

Anaru Kira is part of Te Kotahitanga and said he was very optimistic about the future of the negotiation.

"It certainly was an empowering and positive meeting, and for once we deemed to have unified approach, and I do believe that we are going to go forward in good faith.

"It's all systems go."

Mr Kira hoped the process could move quickly to benefit Ngāpuhi and the region.

Ngāpuhi is the largest iwi in the country, with 120,000 members.

The Treaty Settlement minister Chris Finlayson has yet to respond to RNZ's requests for comment.

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