The country's largest iwi, Ngāpuhi, will vote on a new model for negotiating what's expected to be the biggest Waitangi Treaty settlement of its kind.
Minister for Treaty Settlements Andrew Little said rangatira from both sides of the iwi's long standing mandate dispute agreed unanimously at a meeting in Parliament tonight, to put the new model to the vote.
The Waitangi Tribunal found the previous mandate, known as Tuhoronuku, was defective because it did not protect hapū rangatiratanga and lacked an exit mechanism for hapū who wanted out.
Before the iwi could move into negotiations, 65 percent of hapū and 75 percent of Ngāpuhi voters would need to support the latest representation model.
Tuhoronuku chairman Hone Sadler said the agreement to put the evolved mandate to the vote was a major achievement and the result of a lot of hard work.
However, dissenting hapū are expected to use the exit clause if the mandate is accepted, and pursue separate settlements.