A potential name change for Tuhoronuku, the removal of the Ngapuhi Runanga representative from their board and improving hapu representation are all points and recommendations mentioned in a new Ngapuhi Settlement engagement report.
A tripartite group comprising Te Kotahitanga, Tuhoronuku and the Crown was established last year to address issues raised in the Waitangi Tribunal's report into the Ngapuhi Mandate, which found the structures and processes of Tuhoronuku undermined hapu sovereignty.
The engagement group released a draft Ngapuhi Engagement Report on Friday night which includes several recommendations for a "hapu-driven negotiation process".
The 50-page report mentions the possibilities of changing the name of Tuhoronuku to reflect this "new stage" of settlement and removing the Ngapuhi Runanga representative from the Tuhoronuku board.
"The feedback from the hui and wananga was that it is not necessary for the Runanga to have a seat on our representative structure. It was noted that hapu representatives may decide there is some benefit in fostering a relationship with Runanga and with other existing entities within Ngapuhi," the report states.
In the past, many hapu, including those part of Te Kotahitanga, had voiced their opposition to Tuhoronuku negotiating on their behalf. However, those groups have been working together since December last year in a bid to find a unified pathway to settlement with the Crown.
"We recommend evolving the existing mandate, by making changes to address the key issues that have been dividing us. This will enable us to proceed together to negotiations in a regionally co-ordinated way driven, directed and owned by hapu," the group said in the statement.
Other proposals include hapu holding hui-a-hapu to decide representatives and those representatives gathering in regional forums to make decisions about negotiations.