Ngāpuhi's Treaty settlement leadership has undergone a dramatic change with the fresh loss of leadership from the mandated negotiating group Tūhoronuku.
Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene says the exit of Hone Sadler and Sonny Tau is a chance for fresh Ngāpuhi leadership to come through.
The Northern Advocate understands Hone Sadler left the role as chairman of Tūhoronuku, the group mandated to negotiate Ngāpuhi's Treaty claims, two weeks ago. He has been replaced by James Clyde but the reasons behind his departure are unknown at this stage.
It comes after Ngāpuhi leader Raniera (Sonny) Tau resigned from his role as chairman of Te Rūnanga-ā-iwi ō Ngāpuhi, just two months after he was re-elected to the board. The reason for his departure is also unknown.
The Advocate contacted Sadler for comment but he did not respond by edition time yesterday. Tau also has not responded to requests for comment.
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Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene said he believed Ngāpuhi had been searching for fresh leadership for some time.
"The leadership of Ngāpuhi needs to be reviewed and reinvigorated because Ngāpuhi has been going no where over the last 10 years," he said.
Tūhoronuku's mandate to negotiate Ngāpuhi's Treaty claims was recognised by the Crown in 2014 but the road to settlement has been windy ever since.
In December last year Ngāpuhi rejected an evolved mandate which was supposed to be a new way forward for the iwi, and in January this year Treaty Minister Andrew Little said while Tūhoronuku technically held the Crown-recognised mandate, the Government would not be commencing negotiations with the group any time soon.
Little said he had been informed of both Sadler's exit from the chairman role and his replacement.
"I have already spoken to the new leadership," he said.
Tipene said new leaders needed to be able to "listen and hear" rather than "listen and brush off what they're hearing".
"The leadership that needs to come in needs to be transformational because largely up to this point it has been transactional," he said.
"That type of leadership needs to be respectful because up until now I think it has been disrespectful."
Tipene said despite the exit of Sadler and Tau, he did not think it was possible for the Ngāpuhi settlement negotiations to move forward with Tūhoronuku.
"Lets just say when, not if, Tūhoronuku's mandate is stripped there will be a sigh of relief from amongst the people of Ngāpuhi."
Rudy Taylor, chairman of Kia Anga Mua Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi - formed by the 31 hapū who voted for the evolved mandate - said he was looking to the future.
"What we're interested in is to sit down with the 31 hapū knowing that we want to go forward and how does that look, and what does that look like."
Meanwhile, Little said discussions regarding the Ngāpuhi settlement were ongoing.