As Ngāti Hine starts its roadshow this weekend, the Treaty Negotiations Minister has said there are two key issues in considering whether he would support a separate mandate for the Northland iwi.
Ngāti Hine has been busy planning and fundraising for the Te Ara Kōpuni o Ngāti Hine Roadshow to discuss how Ngāti Hine can move together towards self-reliance as it seeks its own mandate, separate to Ngāpuhi.
The first roadshow is being held at Otiria Marae on Saturday and more are planned throughout New Zealand and Australia.
Pita Tipene, deputy chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hine, said Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said at a public hui in July he was not going to move forward with anything until it was clear it was supported by the hapū.
"We want to begin negotiating our Treaty claims that belong to Ngāti Hine of which we have nine hapū who have all said yes, we want to move forward."
Last year 73 hapū rejected the evolved Ngāpuhi mandate, a plan proposed to move the iwi forward, while 31 hapū supported it.
Little said engagement "between the Crown and Tipene and his forebears," has been based, up until now, on Ngāti Hine being part of Ngāpuhi.
"This is the basis on which Ngāti Hine joined with other Ngāpuhi hapū to challenge the Tūhoronuku mandate," he said.
Little said in considering whether he would support a separate mandate for Ngāti Hine - or other groups - there were two key issues.
"Firstly, it is important there's an overall plan for Ngāpuhi Treaty negotiations that is not just based on one or two groups moving ahead without knowing what the rest of Ngāpuhi are doing," he said.
"Secondly, the fact is there are issues that are common to all Ngāpuhi and discussions on these issues should be with everyone around the table."
Tipene said Ngāti Hine did not need to be in with the rest of Ngāpuhi "at all".
"That is the view of the Government, it's not held by Ngāti Hine," he said.
Tipene said with nine hapū Ngāti Hine was a large natural grouping and it had requested support from the Government through funding.
Little said he had received an "informal request for funding" when he met with Ngāti Hine in July but said claimant funding was available to groups once they are recognised as a large natural grouping for their particular mandate, and once their mandate strategy is approved.
"Ngāti Hine has not engaged with the Crown on this question and so no funding has been approved."
Tipene said the Minister was "splitting hairs" and that he had received briefing papers in hand, as well as a follow-up letter which included a request for funding.
"It was hardly informal, it was very formal...If the minister is saying that what is required is a bit more detail we're quite willing to provide that on the basis that it's a genuine approach," he said.