Two factions of Ngapuhi which were once at loggerheads put their differences aside and have released a report which recommends putting hapu at the centre of decision making.
Tuhoronuku - the body given the mandate to negotiate Treaty claims on behalf of Ngapuhi and Te Kotahitanga, which opposed the Crown's recognition of that mandate, joined together with the Crown in order to work through issues raised in a Waitangi Tribunal report into Tuhoronuku's mandate. The tribunal report found the structures of Tuhoronuku undermined the sovereignty of hapu.
The engagement group released its final Maranga Mai report on Wednesday night which proposes key changes to the existing mandated representative structure - including shifting roles, responsibilities and power from the board to hapu and the regions.
Te Kotahitanga co-chairman Pita Tipene said the report provided a pathway forward for hapu.
"The report provides a pathway forward and it is important our people are given an opportunity to again, fully consider its recommendations.
"We're grateful to the people of Ngapuhi who have participated in the process thus far and we look forward to a new pathway capable of delivering to the needs of the hapu and ultimately to fulfilling our collective vision of a better future."
Some of the key changes proposed include:
- Hapu representation - hapu will hold a hui on their marae with 21 days public notice to decide the process by which they will chose their representatives.
- Regional representations - the new structure recommends six regions rather than five.
- Kuia and kaumatua representation - each hapu will determine kuia and kaumatua representation according to tikanga rather than Ngapuhi voting for two representatives through elections.
- Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi representation - the runanga would have no representative role on proposed structure.
- Te Hononga Nui and Te Hononga Iti - the report recommended there would be a larger group called Te Hononga Nui which would be a space for hapu representatives to have discussion and make recommendations. Te Hononga Iti, the smaller group, would execute the decisions of hapu.
Urban representation is a point Te Kotahitanga and Tuhoronuku could not agree on.
Te Kotahitanga propose hapu decide how to incorporate those living outside the rohe within their hapu teams with a focus on developing a database to enable improved communications.
Tuhoronuku propose having five representatives of urban Ngapuhi to form an urban forum.
Hone Sadler, chairman of Tuhoronuku, the body want to hold a live discussion throughout the negotiations about how redress will be managed, to ensure settlement is robust and fair.
"Our goal is to negotiate collectively in a regionally coordinated way with clear lines of accountability and resourcing."