Failure to actively protect the ability of hapu to exercise their rangatiratanga was central to a decision by the Waitangi Tribunal to grant an urgent hearing into the crowns recognition of the Ngati Wai Trust Board mandate.
Ngati Rehua hapu claimant Huhana Lyndon says they are overjoyed at the decision and the tribunals' acknowledgement of over five hundred families who signed a petition in support.
In her decision Judge Reeves said, “It cannot go unstated that the issues involved are very close to those considered in the Ngāpuhi Mandate Inquiry Report.”
Te Uri o Hikihiki hapu claimant Miley George said, “We've done everything off our own backs we've had no resources no putea to be able to communicate and get the information out there but we have conviction and we believe in the mana of our hapu. “
As the matter is before the tribunal the Minister of Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson declined our request for comment today. Meanwhile, Haydn Edmonds Chair of the Ngati Wai Trust Board said they believe the Deed of Mandate they have established clearly provides for Kaumātua, Hapū and Marae representatives to advise the Board at a governance level.
The claimants have been given forty days to prepare for the urgent hearing.