16 Jan 2019

Hapū faction pushing Ngāpuhi treaty mandate form new group

12:03 pm on 16 January 2019

The group of hapū pushing forward with the stalled Ngāpuhi treaty mandate has formed a new working group.


Sonny Tau is an advisor on the new working group. Photo: Image: supplied

Meanwhile, an alliance of Bay of Island hapū forging ahead with its own treaty claim wants the Crown to withdraw the mandate immediately.

Last year hapū across Ngāpuhi largely rejected an evolved mandate for its treaty settlement, with 73 hapū saying no and 31 in support.

Those 31 hapū still looking to move forward have formed a new working group - Te Kia Anga Mua nga Hapū o Ngāpuhi.

Rudy Taylor is an advisor for the new group, which held a hui this past weekend to work out its next move.

"It was important for us to stay together to know what it is that we need to push for and look at where we go from here," Mr Taylor said.

The question of who should negotiate with the Crown has divided Ngāpuhi.

Sonny Tau and Hone Saddler - who lead Tuhoronuku, the group originally chosen to negotiate with the Crown - are advisors on the new working group.

However, Mr Taylor said the question of who would lead negotiations was on the table.

"There was a lot of talk, strong talk, about them stepping aside," he said.

"But at the same time there was also a lot of talk that nobody should choose somebody else's hapū leader if their hapū puts them up."

The Pewhairangi coastal hapū alliance in the Bay of Islands wants the crown to withdraw the mandate immediately.

The hapū group is made up of Ngāti Kuta, Patukeha, Ngāti Manu, Te Uri o Raewera, Te Uri Ongaonga and Te Uri Karaka.

Mr Hamilton said the alliance has worked for the last three years to be in the position to settle its claim with the Crown.

With the current mandate stalled, Mr Hamilton said the alliance had set a target to settle its treaty claims by 2020.

"To be honest we were ready to settle midway last year - because we had held 19 hapū hui to organise ourselves - it's been a phenomenal task, an formidable task but we've achieved it."

Mr Edwards expects more hapū to form their own negotiation groupings.

"I think it's actually exciting and that's the model, which should've been adopted right from the start instead of going for a centralised shop approach."

Whangarei hapū member Huhana Lyndon said the hapū of Ngāpuhi had made their stance on the Tuhoronuku mandate clear.

It was time for hapū to have the resources to develop their own pathway to settlement, she said.

"If we're true about hapū rangatiratanga, they need the time and space and resource to be able to do the work to determine where they want to negotiate any treaty redress."

Ms Lyndon expected the Ngāpuhi settlement to be a hot topic at Waitangi next month.

"I'm really mindful that we have a whole heap of Ngāpuhi-wide issues that we need to discuss and Waitangi is that best place to maintain that conversation."

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little had no comment on the mandate issue, other than it was up to Ngāpuhi to decide how they move forward with negotiations.

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