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Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone

Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone

The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati Hine, Waihoroi Shortland.

No less than 29 hapu are named as applicants in the successful petition to the Waitangi Tribunal for an urgency hearing into “significant and irreversible prejudice” claimants say they would suffer as a result of the Crown’s recognition of the Tūhoronuku mandate to settle Ngāpuhi treaty claims.

“It is a victory for common sense over expedience,” says Mr. Shortland, “After four years of trying to square peg Ngāpuhi into a round hole, the tribunal has at last come along and offered a means of restoring a little honour to these proceedings.”

Waihoroi Shortland says Ngati Hine is under no illusion that the hard work starts now by focusing on the contrivance by the Crown and the Tūhoronuku mandate to disenfranchise Ngati Hine and others by imposing another Crown concocted Iwi construct which has no customary standing in either Ngati Hine or Ngāpuhi to act on our behalf.

“Once we settle this matter we can start to rebuild relationships that the Crown has played no small part in undermining,” he added.

Having found substance to the contentions that the Tūhoronuku mandate could extinguish rangatiratanga rights to settle directly with the Crown without the consent of treaty claimants, the Tribunal set aside the arguments by the Crown and Tūhoronuku that no prejudiced existed and will now take look closer at both the process and the mandate.

Ngati Hine welcomes the opportunity this hearing brings which might lead to a settlement process that is conducive with our needs in 2014.

“We are past running around the country flying an old kite, now that technology allows us to put our corner of the world at the centre of the universe,” Waihoroi Shortland said.

High on the our priority list will be to cover off how Ngati Hine interests will be best served and treated to by the Crown. We welcome the Tribunal assertion that Ngati Hine is a significant entity in its own right and we will look to engage with those around us with whom we have a shared history and treaty experience.

Waihoroi Shortland says he hopes this finding puts paid to claims by the elected chair of Tūhoronuku, Sonny Tau that Ngāti Hine is a minor player in a vocal minority. It will be interesting he says to see who else will take courage from this decision and step up to create a force the Crown will not be able to deny.

“What we have is a hearing, it is still a long way from where we want to be. How well we prepare and present our case will determine how just and durable a Ngāpuhi settlement will be.”


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