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Ngapuhi mandate a decision for Ngapuhi not Waitangi Tribunal

Ngapuhi mandate a decision for Ngapuhi, not the Waitangi Tribunal

23 August 2011

Deciding who represents Ngapuhi and whether to start settlement negotiations with the Crown is a matter for Ngapuhi, not the Waitangi Tribunal, said Tuhoronuku Interim Chairman, Raniera (Sonny) Tau.

This follows the filing of papers by Te Kotahitanga o Nga Hapu o Ngapuhi (9 Northland Hapu), seeking Waitangi Tribunal intervention in the current Ngapuhi mandate process.

Mr Tau said he did not believe there were any grounds for the Waitangi Tribunal interfering with Ngapuhi's right to determine its own future. “The Ngapuhi mandate process is transparent, democratic and robust,” he said.

All Ngapuhi over 18, no matter where they live, have been given the opportunity to have their say between 10 August and 21 September 2011 on what path to follow.

The Ngapuhi mandate voting process is being managed by independent Christchurch-based Electionz.com Ltd, who ran last year’s local government elections. Every public Ngapuhi mandating meeting has independent observers who will report independently to the Crown on the process.

Te Ropu of Tuhoronuku (Tuhoronuku), an independent sub-committee of Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi, is seeking mandate to represent Ngapuhi in Te Tiriti o Waitangi settlement negotiations with the Crown.

Said Mr Tau: “If Ngapuhi give Tuhoronuku mandate, discussions on the management of the next stage will begin with Ngapuhi and settlement negotiations will begin with the Crown. If they do not, we go back to the beginning and start again.”

There are four ways Ngapuhi can vote: online, by post, fax or at hui.

Tuhoronuku’s website www.tuhoronuku.com has full details of the voting options, also dates and venues for the 20 mandate hui throughout Aotearoa, Sydney and Perth. Or, Ngapuhi can call free phone 0508 666 447 to receive a voting pack.

Ngapuhi is Aotearoa’s biggest iwi, with approximately 123 000 members (2006 Census) who mostly reside in the greater Auckland area, with 13% living at home in Northland.

Said Mr Tau: “The mandate process is about the future of Ngapuhi. Every year settlement is delayed is a year of wasted opportunity for our people, both culturally and economically. This is the last big Treaty settlement, so delay also means a wasted opportunity for Northland and Aotearoa.”


ENDS

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