Thousands of Ngāpuhi members have started voting on whether or not they want to move forward with a new Treaty settlement negotiation plan.

Voting started yesterday on a new model Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little hopes will help the iwi move forward in its Treaty negotiations after years of bitter infighting over the mandate to negotiate with the Crown.

The evolved mandate will mean hapu appoint representatives to make up six rohe negotiation bodies (RNBs), whose representatives will make up part of the Mandated Ngāpuhi Authority (MaNA), who could also include kuia/kaumatua representatives, Ngāpuhi living outside the region and a runanga representative.

MaNA will appoint two commercial negotiators, with support from the RNBs, for commercial redress negotiations.

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Meanwhile each RNB will appoint as many negotiators as they would like (although only a maximum of three will be funded) to work with the Crown on cultural redress, and with each other for an agreement on the allocation of the commercial redress.

Pita Tipene, co-chairman of Te Kotahitanga, the group that opposed the Crown's recognition of Tuhoronuku's mandate, said while he opposed the new plan, and had done from the start, he supported it going to a vote.

Ngati Hine and Ngati Manu have already rejected the plan.

Voting closes on December 3 and details on the endorsement process, including how to register, vote, and where hui will be held, are at www.govt.nz/ngapuhi.