Ngāpuhi hapū anxious before Treaty settlement vote

By Raniera Harrison

Hapū members of Ngāpuhi say transparency is the key to understanding their settlement process going forward.

This comes as the country's largest iwi prepare to vote on the evolved mandate settlement process that if agreed to will see Ngāpuhi enter direct negotiations with the Crown.

Ngāpuhi's Treaty settlement will be voted on by the tribe's 125,000 descendants.

"Our uncle Pita [Tipene] has stood down.  However, the same can't be said for Rudy Taylor, he's like a rock, a pole who won't move" says Haami Tohu.

Tomorrow Te Rōpū Tūhono technical advisors will meet at Te Puni Kōkiri in Whangārei to discuss and finalise "the back up/default voting option".

Hapū members say is right to discuss it in public to remain transparent.

"The world needs to pay attention because this is growing annually" says Aperahama Edwards of Ngāti Wai.

Whangārei's Terenga Parāoa Marae will host the region's voting booth tomorrow.  The mandate needs the support of 65 percent of hapū and 75 percent of Ngāpuhi voters would be needed for the model before the iwi can move into negotiations.

Some hapū members say the process may be able to serve as a lesson for the embroiled Treaty settlement, helping to provide a resolution for the biggest iwi in the country.

"There are a plethora of schools from Ngāti Wai who have come here to bond with one another" says Edwards.

Voting commences at 9:00am tomorrow morning for Ngāpuhi.