Ministers Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta will be in Waitangi this weekend following the announcement the Crown has removed recognition of Tūhoronuku's mandate to negotiate Ngāpuhi's Treaty claims.
Yesterday Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced the Crown had removed its recognition of Tūhoronuku's mandate and said over the next six months the Crown would work closely with iwi groups to establish a new process for building "new and sustainable mandates" for negotiations.
The announcement has received mixed reactions with some saying it is a new sunrise for the Northland iwi, while others say it's not a time to celebrate and the Government has missed the mark.
Ngāti Hine leader Pita Tipene said he was pleased the Government had removed its recognition of Tūhoronuku's mandate.
"It's been a long time coming and this Government had the courage and the fortitude to withdraw recognition of the mandate which was dead in the water anyway."
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But Tipene said with Ngāpuhi "having been through the ringer" over the past 10 years, it was not a time to rejoice.
"Many of our people have passed on, after expending huge amounts of energy and commitments to oppose the Tūhoronuku mandate."
He said Ngāti Hine would continue holding roadshows to acquire its own mandate.
In 2014 the Crown recognised Tūhoronuku's mandate to negotiate Treaty of Waitangi claims on behalf of Ngāpuhi, that recognition was opposed by several hapū who went to the Waitangi Tribunal requesting an urgent inquiry.
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The tribunal found although Tūhoronuku's mandate was sound, its structures undermined hapū rangatiratanga.
In an open letter to Ngāpuhi yesterday, Little and Mahuta said that mandate was no longer suitable.
"We believe it is time for a fresh approach that provides an overall plan for Ngāpuhi Treaty settlement negotiations," the letter said.
The ministers said the Crown was providing an opportunity for the hapū of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up.
"It has also become apparent that area-specific cultural redress is a bottom line for almost everyone involved. As a result, we are inviting proposals from takiwā [area] groups on how cultural redress can be negotiated for each takiwā, within a collective model," Little said.
The ministers will be holding an open invitation hui with Ngāpuhi at the Copthorne Waitangi's Waitaha Room from 11am on Sunday.
Jade Kake, kaimahi for Ngāti Hau and Te Parawhau, said the announcements looked good on the surface but had missed the mark.
She said she didn't understand why regional groups of hapū couldn't handle negotiating both commercial and cultural redress and the Government should not assume settlement will happen under a collective framework.
"I can understand the aversion to addressing our claims on a hapū by hapū basis but I think our regions are working well together. So thanks for listening to that part but I don't feel the Crown is really listening when this is the solution they've come up with."
Kake also said the Government needed to address the Waitangi Tribunal's stage one report of the Te Paparahi o te Raki inquiry which found Ngāpuhi did not cede sovereignty to the Crown when it signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Meanwhile, Ngāpuhi kaumatua and former Māori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels said this announcement was a new sunrise and a chance for young, fresh leadership to come through.
"The whole Tūhoronuku mandate at the end of the day was a farce. It didn't have the support of the hapū, it lacked integrity, it lacked democratic process and it certainly couldn't be sustained in terms of its cultural and Ngāpuhi integrity."
Samuels said because of "non settlement" and "mana munching", opportunities for young people were being missed.
He said the Government would have an idea of what the settlement quantum would be and suggested as a sign of "goodwill" the Crown could establish a trust and put half of that money in there.
"It would have very stringent constraints on how it would be utilised and I would support it be utilised for educational purposes for Ngāpuhi to further their education by way of scholarship or that type of thing."
Little said the Government was also considering establishing a new Ngāpuhi sovereign investment fund. The idea of the fund, a detailed proposal for which has yet to be developed, would be to help provide assets which could be used in any agreement for redress with Ngāpuhi.