Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi have motioned to remove their co-chairs, Pita Tipene and Rudy Taylor alongside lawyer Jason Pou in the negotiations for the Ngāpuhi Treaty settlement.
There is still no seat at the table- Pita Tipene says strategy is at play.
"The ever-charismatic Moka Puru put forward the motion that I, with Rudy Taylor and Jason Pou, should step down from our respective roles. It was clear and transparent- so that people were not under the wrong impression that Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū support Tūhono" says Tipene.
Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū members motioned to remove Tipene and co-chair Taylor alongside lawyer Pou as their representatives in settling the Ngāpuhi Treaty claim at their monthly meeting in Kawakawa last night. However, one of the three aren't giving in.
Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū representative lawyer, and technical advisor on Te Rōpū Tūhono, Pou says, "The reason that I'm not stepping down is that after that meeting I've been approached by a couple of hapū members- they have said that our job isn't finished."
Minister of Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little is currently overseas and could not be reached to discuss whether the makeup of Te Rōpū Tūhono was compromised with the motion passed by Te Kotahitanga.
"I'm not sure that the resolution has merit given that there has not been engagement with the hapū that was ostensibly expressed," says Pou.
Hokianga hapū will meet at Whirinaki's Mōria Marae on Friday to discuss their continued support of Te Kotahitanga co-chair Taylor, who is also being motioned out.
"We need to be careful how this is developing in front of us all- for the families and people of Hokianga," says Lynette Wharerau of Te Hikutu.
It is yet to be formally decided upon by Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū who will take the co-chair positions.
"Put it this way- Ngāpuhi are being rounded up like animals in a yard and separated as the government pleases," says Tipene.
The individual voting process for the evolved mandate will be undertaken by the tribe's near 125,000 members this Friday.