Ngāpuhi negotiations a priority for Little

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has a new plan that could see Ngāpuhi treaty negotiations kicking off in November.

Minister Little has proposed an evolved Ngāpuhi mandate and he has named a new chief Crown negotiator for Treaty settlements.

The announcements come as the minister meets with Ngāpuhi hapū in a series of hui this weekend

Little says, “I'm certainly going to work hard as minister to meet the demands and needs of Ngāpuhi to get to the point so that those negotiations can start.”

The evolved model for negotiations is meant to assure a hapū voice is the deciding voice.

“It puts the power into hapū,” says Little.

“Hapū make the decision on who their kaikōrero are right through the process. The decisions about what Ngāpuhi want to do are in their hands.”

Little has appointed former NZ Post CEO Sir Brian Roche as the new chief crown negotiator.

“The Crown is showing that it's ready,” says Little.

“It's taking seriously its obligations to engage with Ngāpuhi.”

The minister's information hui will continue tomorrow in Whangaroa and the Bay of Islands.

Hapū will decide at a later date whether or not they will accept or decline the proposal.