Ngāti Paoa Trust Board calls for removal of negotiator

updated By Jessica Tyson, Te Ao - Māori News

Morehu Wilson says he is not bound by a decision released by the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board to remove him as negotiator.

A joint statement issued by the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust, and the Ngāti Paoa Trust outlined the decision to remove Mr Wilson was made following the signing off of the Hauraki Deed.

According to the release, both boards opposed the signing last week.  The trust board and the iwi trust both sent letters to Wilson and the Crown strongly objecting to the signing.

Last week the matter was taken to court where the judge ruled that the signing ‘’cannot be relied upon’’ in any way, shape, or form until the concerns raised by the board and the iwi [claimant community] have been addressed.

Chair of the Ngāti Paoa Trust Harry Williams says, “The removal was inevitable after the Crown allowed a signing to proceed despite clearly telling them we did not support the signing as the mandated entity.”

However, Mr Wilson told Te Ao–Māori News, “I am not bound to their decision as I was elected by the people, and it is the people who will decide. No pressure at all from the Crown Negotiator for me to sign.

“I promised at the Hui ā iwi to wait for the independent report on the Hauraki Collective Governance structures before making a decision. That report was received over 2 weeks ago and the decision was made to move forward. “

Chair of the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust Gary Thompson says, “It’s not about individual personalities or people, it’s about making the tough decision to safeguard and protect our settlement. 

Thompson hopes the issues outlined will be addressed at the Hauraki Tribunal Inquiry starting next month.