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Ngapuhi Heading for Settlement Crisis

4 October 2005

Ngapuhi Heading for Settlement Crisis

Ngapuhi – the country’s largest iwi – is heading for a financial crisis over the $66 million fisheries settlement it received last week, according to Ngapuhi leader David Rankin.

Mr. Rankin is the chairman of Ko Te Uira Tanuku Poto- a group of Ngapuhi kaumatua and academics – who are concerned about the current direction the iwi is heading in.

‘We have known for thirteen years that this settlement was coming’, says Mr. Rankin, ‘and in all that time, the Ngapuhi Runanga failed to develop a plan for managing and allocating the money. Now, they have received $66 million and they are scratching their heads, wondering what to do with it’.

Following some of the problems experienced by other iwi who have received settlements, such as Tainui, Mr. Rankin and Ko Te Uira Tanuku Poto are anxious that systems are put in place to protect Ngapuhi’s windfall. ‘This is our only chance at serious development for our people’; he says, ‘and we simply can’t afford to mess it up’.

‘I would like to say we have full confidence in the runanga’, says Mr. Rankin, ‘but based on their recent performance, we have real concerned for the financial future of Ngapuhi’.

ENDS

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