Hapu opposed to Tuhoronuku having the mandate for Ngapuhi Treaty negotiations have been offered more than $100,000 in Crown funding to improve hapu engagement.
Pita Tipene, chairman of Te Kotahitanga - the group opposing Tuhoronuku's mandate to negotiate Ngapuhi's Treaty claims, - said the funding was offered ultimately to groups who were part of the Waitangi Tribunal urgency claim into the Ngapuhi mandate.
He said the Minister of Treaty Negotiations told Te Kotahitanga he would make resourcing - about $106,000 worth of funding - available to achieve engagement around the Tribunal's report into the Ngapuhi mandate which showed the structures of Tuhoronuku were flawed. Mr Tipene said the funding would make the work the group had always done, a bit easier.
" We have been operating for six years without funding. We have been digging into our own pockets or fundraising. It will certainly [make the job easier] we have kaumatua and kuia who drive long distances to be come to hui," he said.
Mr Tipene said he felt like the voices of hapu who long opposed Tuhoronuku, had finally been heard.
"Up until this point [the Crown] have only funded Tuhoronuku. We have been mindful we got to be very accountable with the money we spend," he said.
Mr Tipene said hapu would be very transparent about what the money would be spent on, at this stage they were were looking at funding going towards travel costs and to experts who had offered their knowledge to groups "pro bono".
"Even if we weren't offered money we would continue this because money is not what we try to achieve - money makes people do strange things."
He said the group had not received any recent formal invitations to sit down with Tuhoronuku.