7 Jul 2011

Ngāpuhi leader urges groups to 'get real' over settlement

8:44 pm on 7 July 2011

Ngāpuhi runanga chairman Sonny Tau says claimant groups in a stand-off over the tribe's Treaty settlement need to get real.

The rūnanga-led agency, Tūhoronuku, has the Crown's endorsement to seek the mandate to settle the Ngāpuhi claims.

But nine hapū known as Kōtahitanga are objecting, saying hapū and whānau should lead that process, not a rūnanga sub-committee.

Mr Tau says that could take many years and cost Ngāpuhi millions of dollars in lost interest.

He says part of the problem is male egos - and those who suffer from that need to get over themselves and put the iwi first.

Mr Tau says Tūhoronuku has bent over backwards to include the hapū on its interim board and has delayed the mandating hui to address their concerns.

Kōtahitanga says hapū have been marginalised by the rūnanga and have only seven seats out of 15 on Tūhoronuku's board.

Sonny Tau says if there is no agreement by August, Tūhoronuku' will go out to Ngāpuhi nui Tonu and seek the mandate.

The two groups have had two meetings mediated by former Prime Minister Jim Bolger and will present their cases at a public forum at Whitiora Marae on 21 July.