A new council of chiefs is being called for to give stability, direction and leadership "to save the sacred house of Ngapuhi before it falls apart".

The independent body of rangatira would be named Paipai Mana Tapu O Ngapuhi, says Mita Harris, one of the people planning a hui in August to set it up.

Paipai Mana Tapu O Ngapuhi would be at the top of the pyramid of representation - above handouts, honorarium, travel vouchers or other 21st century equivalents of axes and blankets - Mr Harris said.

The move follows a meeting last week to discuss what independent voice was needed and what shape leadership should take to enable the iwi to move forward.


"There is a beautiful side to Ngapuhi. Let's not allow it to be overshadowed by discord but let's reawaken Ngapuhi pride and vision for the future," Mr Harris said.

"Our people need to know that they are valued and that the sacred house of Ngapuhi is intact. We need leaders who embody strength and the values that are critical to our time. Younger people especially are longing for this. It needs to be autonomous of the Crown and must be funded through donations from our people. While we must look after our members, the reward of being part of this paipai will be personal satisfaction rather than monetary."

The paipai could only be effective if Te Runanga O Ngapuhi, competing Waitangi Treaty claim negotiating groups Tuhoronuku and Kotahitanga and the Crown accepted it as an independent voice, he said.

"I plead to rangatira ahikaroa and kaitiaki at all the corners of our whare to come to this hui with your mana to make a stand and a difference. You know that if we miss this opportunity, we could face an uncertain future and Ngapuhi's many taonga will stay in the shadows of our whare."

Mr Harris is a former Ngati Toro kaikorero (representative) on Tuhoronuku and has been Northland Conservation Board chairman since 2011. He resigned from his kaikorero role in protest at runanga chairman Sonny Tau allegedly hunting and taking protected kukupa.

Others backing Paipai Mana Tapu O Ngapuhi include James Clyde, Kingi Tauroa and Mary Ann Baker.