Power in the hands of hapu¯/iwi
Power has been placed in the hands of Nga¯puhi hapu¯ and iwi members to vote on whether or not they want to move forward with a new Treaty settlement negotiation plan.
The decision to put the evolved model to the vote was made at a meeting at Parliament last week, attended by Te Ropu Tuhono (comprising Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little, the leaders of Tuhoronuku and the cochairmen of Te Kotahitanga).
In 2015 the Waitangi Tribunal found that the Crownrecognised mandate held by Tuhoronuku was flawed, as it did not protect hapu¯ sovereignty. Tuhoronuku chairman Hone Sadler said he was elated that the process that followed that finding had reached the point where Nga¯puhi could vote on it.
“It’s been hard for the last couple of years, getting nowhere, and we’ve arrived at this point where we can take this out to Nga¯puhi and say ‘Well, the choice is yours’,” he said.
The evolved mandate will mean hapu¯ appoint representatives to make up six rohe negotiation bodies (RNBs), whose representatives will make up part of the Mandated Nga¯puhi Authority (MaNA), who could also include kuia/kauma¯tua representatives, Nga¯puhi living outside the region and a runanga representative.
MaNA will appoint two commercial negotiators, with support from the RNBs, for commercial redress negotiations.
Meanwhile each RNB will appoint as many negotiators as they would like (although only a maximum of three will be funded) to work with the Crown on cultural redress, and with each other for an agreement on the allocation of the commercial redress.
Pita Tipene, co-chairman of Te Kotahitanga, the group that opposed the Crown’s recognition of Tuhoronuku’s mandate, said while he opposed the new plan, and had done from the start, he supported it going to a vote.
“The people need to speak, they need to vote, and Nga¯puhi need to make a collective decision,” he said.
“Any thoughts I have in terms of opposing it were merely my thoughts, but I did remind Te Ropu Tuhono that, given that the submission period had closed, they needed to remember while I was alone in my opposition I represented a significant number of people who also oppose, because there were more submissions opposed to the proposal than supportive.”
Voting is to be completed by December 7, with 65 per cent support from of hapu¯ , and 75 per cent from individuals, needed to move to the negotiation phase.
Mr Sadler was hopeful that the evolved mandate would be supported, but noted that there was a withdrawal mechanism that would enable any of the iwi’s 110 hapu¯ to exit if they chose to. Nga¯ti Manu has already formally rejected the new process.
Details on the endorsement process, including how to register, vote, and where hui will be held, are at www.govt.nz/ngapuhi