Ngapuhi Will Not Participate in NRC Maori Advisory Committee
18 May 2014
Ngapuhi Will Not Participate in Northland Regional Council Maori Advisory Committee
Ngapuhi, the country’s largest iwi, won’t be signing up to the Northland Regional Council’s Maori Advisory Committee until the council sorts out its Terms of Reference, Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau said today.
“Wanting to bring together the region’s iwi authorities, and including one hapu, is a sure sign that the regional council has no idea what they’re doing,” Mr Tau said.
“They either open it up to all hapu in Te Taitokerau, or they stick with iwi authorities. There are a lot of hapu doing a lot of good work in resource management, to engage one hapu and leave the others to the side is not on.”
“The regional council says in including only one Ngapuhi hapu, the council recognises it as an iwi authority ‘for the purposes of resources management processes’.
“But, in doing so the council is demonstrating ignorance of not just Ngapuhi tikanga, but of its own legislation.
“The RMA definition of iwi authority unquestionably precludes hapu as being recognised as such. So it is either the case that Dover and his fellow councilors are ignoring their own legislation, or they have been led up the garden path by poor staff advice.
“The regional council has never before been so cheeky as to dictate to Taitokerau iwi who we are, and who we are not. Perhaps the prospect of them being consigned to local government limbo by the current reorganisation process has given them courage to stumble into arenas where they ought not tread”, said Mr Tau.