Ngāpuhi hapū feel rushed about settlement proposals

By D'Angelo Martin
Mark Ngahoia Scott (left) at the treaty hui. Source - File

The latest treaty engagement hui with Ngāpuhi hapū in Whangārei has left northerners feeling rushed. Mark Ngahoia Scott, attended the hui, describes what happened:

"We're a little bewildered. The correspondence from Te Arawhiti concerned March & May timelines set by the Minister. However, Te Arawhiti are saying there is now not a fixed timeline.''

Ngāpuhi hapū were left assuming that Te Arawhiti is doing this, because it’s an election year.

Takahiwai uri Gillie Paki explains how his people came to the hui, to hear Te Arawhiti out but to their surprise:

“They’re [Te Arawhiti] wanting us to volunteer our proposals for the go-ahead. So most of us sitting in the whare were like, “Holy moly!”

Te Parawhau hapū uri attended as well. They want the opportunity to negotiate with the Crown as a sovereign hapū group. Hinemoa Apetera breaks down why her hapū chose this approach:

“We have agreed in our small groups, that we need to come together as a unified force to fight for Whangārei.”

This is because they are surrounded by the competing claims of Ngāti Whatua, Ngāti Wai and Ngāpuhi on their borders. Mira Norris explains how the mandate system the Crown uses affects her people:

“We had a Ngāti Whātua mandate. We have a Ngāpuhi mandate, and we have a Ngāti Wai mandate.”

Morris says that these mandates meant that Te Parawhau whenua was allocated for Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Wai settlements.

Hapū descendants are convinced that negotiations have come to a halt, because the Crown refuses to recognize that Ngāpuhi never ceded sovereignty. Scott reiterates his position:

“We, the people of Ngāpuhi, stand by this fact and have done so for a long time.”

Te Ao sought comment from Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little regarding this issue but he was unavailable for comment.