Report recommends more involvement from Northland hapū

By Harata Brown

A new report recommends Ngāpuhi hapū should play a major role in negotiating a treaty settlement with the Crown. The recommendations have been made by the Crown's Hapū Engagement Process, made up of members from the iwi's mandated body Tūhoronuku and Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapu.

The man at the helm of Ngāpuhi's tribal mandate disagrees with recommendations to scrap their brand and model.

“We must uphold the wishes of those who entrusted us with this role, to continue to set out and do the work we promised to do throughout the many years and meetings conducted with our Ngāpuhi people,” says Chairman of Tuhoronuku Hone Sadler.

Sadlers comments follow recommendations in the new draft report 'Maranga Mai' which propose to reshape Tūhoronuku's Mandate, and create regional groups that aim to negotiate with the Crown separately.  

According to Co-Chair Te Kotahitanga o Nga Hapu o Ngapuhi, Rudy Taylor says, ‘The Taiwhenua as you know, is based on Hokianga/Takutaimoana, Mangakaahia, Mahurangi, Waimate/Taiamai, Whangaroa and Whangarei. We've always stuck to those principles of recognising the groupings of our peoples that are talking to them in their own rohe.”

The Waitangi Tribunal criticised the Government's recognition of Tūhoronuku's mandate as an empty structure that doesn't support the subtribes of Ngāpuhi's autonomy sufficiently. As a response, The Crown's Hapū Engagement Process, made up of members from Tūhoronuku, Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū and the Crown, was undertaken.

Sadler says, “We have the authority to carry it (the settlement process) out which was ratified by our people. Now we will analyse the report, but we must not jump up and down and think this is set in stone, each group will make their own submissions on this topic.”

“His (Hone Sadler's) team is engaging with Te Kotahitanga. Maybe he might not like the change, the engagement is about having to ratify the Tribunal's urgency report and make it clearly known that there was a lot of hapu left out of this process,” says Taylor.

A spokesperson for The Minister of Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson says the Minister has no comment while the report is still in draft form, but encourages all Ngāpuhi to read it and provide feedback on the proposal.