Te Kotahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi say a claim by Tūhoronuku that has the support to settle Ngāpuhi claims is misguided.
It follows the release this week of the results of a Horizon Research poll showing 70% support for the Tūhoronuku mandate.
The co-chair of Te Kotahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi, Pita Tipene, says the Horizon poll is a weak attempt to maintain power.
“Only 515 individuals replied to the poll and that's a very small representation for a tribe the size of Ngāpuhi. Tūhoronuku is misguided to interpret that as support for a mandate."
The issue has caused massive divisions ever since the Crown recognised the mandate of Tūhoronuku to settle Ngāpuhi.
Tipene says, "They still want to hold the reigns of the house. But Ngāpuhi has well and truly moved on from Tūhoronuku with the aim to implement the findings of the Maranga Mai Report with the respective districts managing themselves. Tūhoronuku's time has passed and Maranga Mai is the future."
The Maranga Mai report was the result of a collaboration of both parties following the urgent hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal in 2015 to determine whether the mandate recognized by the Crown undermined the rights of hapū.
Tipene says hapū continue to maintain that they represent themselves.
"Our future is in the hands of the people of the tribes of Ngāpuhi. When the respective tribes of Ngāpuhi are strong the sacred house of Ngāpuhi will stand upright."