5 Sep 2011

Call for technical team to tackle Ngapuhi divide

9:57 am on 5 September 2011

A group of Northland hapu is calling for a last-minute effort to present a united front on the massive Ngapuhi claim.

Eight hapu, including Ngati Rehia, Ngati Rangi and Ngai Te Whiu say they're alarmed at escalating tension between two warring factions.

Tuhoronuku - the board seeking the mandate to negotiate with the Crown - is encountering strong opposition at its hui, from the hapu alliance, Te Kotahitanga.

The eight concerned hapu say they believe all is not completely lost, and want a technical group set up to try to find a compromise.

Te Kotahitanga wants to delay negotiations until after Ngapuhi's land claims have been heard, while Tuhoronuku wants to forge ahead.

The eight hapu say Ngapuhi owes it to those who've passed on to explore a compromise.

The Waitangi Tribunal says it's registered 377 claims from the north, and the size of the inquiry will be unprecedented in tribunal history.