A former Minister of Maori Affairs says the Minister of Treaty Negotiations should not procrastinate and start making decisions after meeting with Ngapuhi.

A representative of a Whangarei hapu who attended the hui said people were ready to settle.

About 200 people attended a hui held at the Waitaha Hall in Waitangi on Saturday to meet and share their views with Andrew Little, the Minister of Treaty Negotiations and Maori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

Former Minister of Maori Affairs Dover Samuels said the hui was "very interesting" and as expected there were a range of differing views.


Samuels said he understood the pressures on Little who would have to show strength and make decisions.

"It is very dangerous to procrastinate and to string out this process - it's non-productive to both sides because many people are suffering from hui-itis and I wouldn't like people to see this as some sort of ongoing situation," he said.

The Ngapuhi settlement conflict goes back to 2011 when Tuhoronuku sought the mandate for direct negotiations but Te Kotahitanga opposed this.

When Tuhoronuku was granted the mandate in 2014 several opposed hapu went to the Waitangi Tribunal and were granted an urgent hearing into the Crown's recognition of the mandate.

The tribunal found Tuhoronuku's mandate was legitimate but its structures undermined hapu rangatiratanga (sovereignty).

As a result, an engagement group comprising the Crown, Te Kotahitanga and Tuhoronuku formed Maranga Mai - a document which recommended a way forward.

But in June then Prime Minister Bill English told Tuhoronuku and Te Kotahitanga the Crown would step away while Ngapuhi worked something out.

Samuels acknowledged Mr Little has inherited a situation that could have been more favourable but commended he "got off his backside very quickly".


"Whatever he does there's no way in the world he is going to get complete support unanimously from Ngapuhi, and you wouldn't expect that."

Millan Ruka attended the hui on behalf of Ngapuhi hapu Te Uroiori, Te Parawhau, and Te Mahurehure ki Whatitiri and said Ngapuhi was well represented.

Millan Ruka, who attended the Ngapuhi hui on behalf of three hapu. Photo / John Stone
Millan Ruka, who attended the Ngapuhi hui on behalf of three hapu. Photo / John Stone

He said some people who spoke focused on the past, which Ruka understood. But he appreciated the speeches from those who wanted to move forward.

"Two kuia gave excellent educated response about each hapu being resourced to move forward.

"A lot were of a tone of 'we are ready, help us to get to the table'."

On the Friday, representatives from Te Kotahitanga and Tuhoronuku met separately with Little and Mahuta.

Pita Tipene, co-chairman of Te Kotahitanga, said they were able to state their position on settlement.

"Our position is we totally support Maranga Mai, we are already moving on Maranga Mai. We need the Crown to come in and resource and support that process so we can move on."

Hone Sadler, chairman of Tuhoronuku, said the meeting was positive and he was looking forward to working with Little.

"Going forward, we gave him an update on we were at as Tuhoronuku and the work that we have done thus far. Our goals are to strengthen the mandate."