Tūhoronuku chair Sonny Tau stood in defence of the Crown process that gave Tūhoronuku the mandate to negotiate the settlement of Ngāpuhi treaty claims.
He was a witness for the Crown today, the final day of the Waitangi Tribunal's urgent hearing on this matter in the Bay of Islands.
The spokesman of the 22 trustees appointed to the Tūhoronuku Independent Mandated Authority in July was quietly confident and showed faith in the work that has been done over the six years to get to this point.
Those who support the settlement of Ngāpuhi's claim also believe that the solution lie in the hands of Ngāpuhi.
"Despite the involvement of the Crown, the Tribunal and the lawyers, in the end an outcome will never be reached unless we al talk to each other, " says Hone Sadler.
The coalition of Ngāpuhi tribes however will not budge and are buoyed by the tribunal's decision to hear this case on the basis that whānau and hapū are suffering or likely to suffer irreversible prejudice because of the Crown processes for settling and negotiating treaty claims.
Patu Hohepa says, "We have come to unfamiliar territory for them, knowing full well that our ancestors didn't need sovereignty which must be returned so we can govern ourselves."