Former MP Tau Henare says he was so angry at being bumped off the speaking list at last week's Waitangi Tribunal hearing he was tempted to tear up his evidence in front of the the judges.
The Tribunal held an urgent hearing at the Copthorne Hotel in Waitangi last week into claims by 15 Northland hapu that they have been disadvantaged by the government's decision to start fast-tracked Treaty settlement negotiations with Tuhoronuku, an iwi mandated authority.
Mr Henare had been due to speak on Thursday, after former Northland list MP Shane Jones. However, the cross-examination of Office of Treaty Settlements manager Maureen Hickey took so long that a number of speakers were bumped.
The outspoken ex-MP said he had spent three days at Waitangi to hear the submissions and to be present in case he was called early.
"But I didn't get a chance to deliver my evidence. I am p***ed off . I felt very inclined to rip up my evidence and leave it on the Tribunal's table," he said.
Mr Henare, who spent six years as the chairman of the Maori Affairs Select Committee, said Ms Hickey's cross-examination should not have been allowed to drag on for almost five hours. He claimed "at least 50 per cent" of the lawyers' questions were irrelevant or statements dressed up as questions.
If time had been managed properly everyone could have been heard, he said. The Tribunal declined to comment on Mr Henare's concerns.
The view he would have put to the Tribunal was that Ngapuhi should pursue a single settlement, with mechanisms put in place to respect the mana of hapu involved.
"We should be in there, boots and all, getting as much as we can from the Crown. Why should people die waiting?" he asked.
Former Ministry of Maori Affairs chief executive and race relations conciliator John Clarke was also dropped from Thursday's speaking list.