The finding of the Waitangi Tribunal recommending a new mandate for Ngapuhi is a blow to Treaty Minister Chris Finlayson who wants to accelerate the settlement process, says Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.
“An urgent application to the Waitangi Tribunal challenged the Minister’s approach to confirm the Tuhoronuku mandate on the basis that some hapu felt they were pre-judiciously affected from pursuing their own claims.
“The Minister needs to consider this as an opportunity to renew the conversation with hapu in Ngapuhi about what a fair and durable settlement looks like.
“It's clear the mandate to settle requires a fresh approach for Ngaphui hapu and strong leadership is required.
“There have been several hurdles for Ngapuhi hapu to legitimately advance their own interests because of the internal power struggle over mandate issues.
"In recommending time be given to Ngapuhi to test whether there is an appetite to unite under Tuhoronuku or form another large natural grouping remains a challenge.
"There are other iwi models that support an alternative approach to addressing specific hapu interests such as Ngati Kahungunu,” says Nanaia Mahuta.