Ngāpuhi hapū will be able to access money for hui to discuss a Treaty negotiations plan which has received mixed reactions so far.

The funding announcement from Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little comes as he tours the country with a new plan for Ngāpuhi Treaty negotiations.

He said the funding is to enable hapū to discuss the new plan and provide feedback.

"Eight public hui have been successfully held in Te Tai Tokerau and Tamaki Makaurau where it was made clear to me that some hapū want more engagement with their principal leaders," he said.

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Hapū will be able to access up to $500 per hui and will be funded for up to two hui each.

Little took the new plan to Northland earlier this month.

He said the idea is that each hapū would elect representatives to sit at a taiwhenua (district) level, the taiwhenua would negotiate various forms of redress directly with the Crown, then there's a level where common issues would be negotiated.

Ngāti Hine representatives said the proposal was "largely identical to the original Tūhoronuku mandate" and were frustrated after two speakers were denied speaking rights.

"Due to the planned structure of the meetings, the Crown only provided people a meagre 45 minutes to engage in dialogue and offer feedback. We feel this is disingenuous by the Minister," a press release by Ngāti Hine said.

As a result Pita Tipene, co-chairman of Te Kotahitanga - the group which opposed the Crown's recognition of Tūhoronuku's mandate to negotiate claims on behalf of Ngāpuhi, and other supporters walked out.

The Northern Advocate contacted Tipene for comment but he did not respond by edition time yesterday.

Little said he accepted that not everyone got the opportunity to speak, which is why further hui opportunities were being provided. He also said the proposal had several differences to the current mandate.

"There will never be a perfect structure but I do think it's possible to get a structure that, with some compromise, will be able to move Ngāpuhi into negotiations," he said.

Hone Sadler, chairman of Tūhoronuku, said he believed people were forgetting the proposal was not set in stone.

"They think 'oh, you've gone ahead and done that without getting agreement from us', well we want to get agreement from people."

Sadler believed some people had gone into the hui with a negative mindset.

"The minister, whatever he does, he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. So he's between a rock and a hard place as far as the people were concerned.

"No matter what was presented they weren't interested and you can understand that there's some frustration. But we need to move on."


NGĀPUHI TREATY SETTLEMENT - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Ngāpuhi is the largest iwi in the country with more than 120,000 people who affiliate with the iwi.
• In 2014 the Government recognised Tūhoronuku as the mandated authority to negotiate Treaty of Waitangi claims on behalf of Ngāpuhi.
• Te Kotahitanga and several hapū opposed the recognition of this mandate and went to the Waitangi Tribunal requesting an urgent inquiry.
• In 2015 the Waitangi Tribunal released a report which found while Tūhoronuku's mandate was sound, its structures undermined hapū rangatiratanga.
• An engagement group comprising members of Tūhoronuku, Te Kotahitanga, and the Crown was established to address the issues in the tribunal's report.
• Maranga Mai, a report which recommended a way forward, was produced. Tuhoronuku did not accept that report in its entirety.
• In 2017 Labour came into Government and Andrew Little became Minister of Treaty Negotiations. He held hui in Waitangi in November and around Northland in December.
• In March Andrew Little met Te Kotahitanga co-leaders Rudy Taylor and Pita Tipene, and Tūhoronuku chairman Hone Sadler and deputy chairman Sonny Tau - seven meetings have been held since.