Nanaia Mahuta rejects accusations of secrecy

Nanaia Mahuta has rejected claims that she and Treaty negotiators met in Kāwhia without local iwi knowledge.

Mahuta, who is a Ngāti Maniapoto Treaty negotiator, met with Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson in Kāwhia last weekend.

But local Ngāti Hikairo members attempted to block a bus transporting the official delegation, claiming iwi not been consulted.

“We are not a people who keep things secret. The elders of Ngāti Hikairo were made well aware of our intentions at Waipapa Marae,” said Mahuta, who is also the Labour MP for Hauraki-Waikato .

Speaking to Māori Television’s Kawe Kōrero programme, Mahuta said the meeting was noted at tribal gatherings prior to ensure everyone knew the minister was coming.

“We also invited Ngāti Hikairo to a meeting on their marae before the minister came in order to plan a strategy for Kāwhia Moana. Therefore, everyone was informed prior to the arrival of the minister.”