There are still plenty of hapū in the far north who are not convinced that the proposed new mandate for settling a treaty claim with Ngāpuhi is the right way to go, the Treaty Negotiations Minister has acknowledged.
In August Andrew Little presented a new negotiations model to hapū across the north and that 'evolved' mandate will be voted on next month.
He held his final hui with Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Toro and Ngāti Manu yesterday.
Mr Little said if the mandate was rejected, then the Crown would have to sit down with Ngāpuhi representatives and figure out what to do next.
"We'll deal with whatever the result of the vote is, but I think what has become pretty apparent, at least from the Crown's point of view, is that even if the vote doesn't support the proposed new mandate and we have to go back to square one, the idea of the Crown negotiating individually with 110 hapū creates an almost impossible task.
"It would years and years and years, because nothing could be settled until everything is settled and the question is whether you do that hapū by hapū or whether you do that with everybody under the same tent but respecting hapū rangatiratanga - I think the latter is achievable, but we'll see where Ngāpuhi are as a group of hapū when we see the vote."
The Crown did not want to compound the harm it had already done by holding a whole bunch of hapū to ransom while forcing something upon them that they did not want, he said.
"What hapū want, what they have expressed to me in the hui that I have held, is that they want to see their place, they want to see their interests being preserved and protected and so that as hapū they can strengthen their voice and engage both internally within Ngāpuhi, but also with the Crown, from a position of strength that they do not have that at the moment.
"I get that and I'm confident we can achieve that but I think there are plenty of Ngāpuhi hapū that are yet to be convinced of that."
Ngāpuhi will vote through November, with the result expected by early December.