Kingi Taurua calls hui to discuss Ngapuhi Treaty settlement

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Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua has called the iwi together for a hui to discuss the "fiasco" that is the Ngapuhi Treaty settlement. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
Ngapuhi elder Kingi Taurua has called the iwi together for a hui to discuss the "fiasco" that is the Ngapuhi Treaty settlement. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

A Ngapuhi elder has called a hui of the iwi after "angry" iwi members told him egos are getting in the way of Ngapuhi's Treaty settlement.

Kingi Taurua said he has been asked to call together Ngapuhi for a hui after hapu said they were fed-up of the road blocks on the pathway to settlement.

"They are really angry about the whole thing. They're saying it's been put back and some of them will be already dead and they wouldn't reap the benefits of this whole thing," Mr Taurua said.

It appeared Ngapuhi was on the track to settlement when warring factions Te Kotahitanga, Tuhoronuku and the Crown formed an engagement group and released the Maranga Mai report which recommended a way forward for Ngapuhi. However, Minister of Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson wrote to Tuhoronuku chairman Hone Sadler on August 29 and gave the board until yesterday to state their position on Maranga Mai, saying if the recommendations were not accepted the Crown's recognition of the mandate will be reassessed.

When Tuhoronuku did not reach a position or accept the recommendations before the deadline Moana Tuwhare and Sam Napia, who were acting-chairman and deputy chairwoman of Tuhoronuku after former chairman Sonny Tau was stood down, wrote to Mr Finlayson urging the Crown to remove its recognition of the mandate. Mr Finlayson would not say yesterday what the future of Tuhoronuku's mandate would be.

Mr Taurua described what was happening as a "fiasco". "Egos of these people are getting in the way of what the hapu want. What they are really saying is that they think we should start again and look at a new way of doing things."

The Ngapuhi settlement conflict goes back to 2011 when Tuhoronuku sought the mandate for direct negotiations but Te Kotahitanga opposed this and wanted claims heard individually. When Tuhoronuku was granted the mandate in 2014 several opposed hapu went to the Waitangi Tribunal and were granted an urgent hearing into the Crown's recognition of the mandate.

Last year the tribunal released a report which found while Tuhoronuku's mandate was legitimate its structures undermined hapu rangatiratanga.

Mr Taurua said he is not sure if Saturday's hui at Waitangi Marae, which starts at 10am, would achieve anything but Ngapuhi needed to talk.

- Northern Advocate

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