Ngāpuhi settlement delayed once again

By Dean Nathan

The Ngāpuhi treaty claim is at a stand-still after Prime Minister Bill English advised Te Kotahitanga and Tūhoronuku that the government will withdraw from the tribe's treaty settlement process.

Rudy Taylor the co-chair of Te Kotahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi has told Te Kāea he thought they weren't far from the end of a long process to a settlement before being called to meet urgently with the Prime Minister on Saturday.

"I thought that him telling us that he wants to withdraw his Minister of Treaty Negotiations Minister and also OTS staff and let Ngāpuhi think about how they want to go forward, we think that was naive because it's taken us eight years to come together to sort this out."

Meanwhile, the Chair of Tūhoronuku is in total support of the decision.  Hone Sadlier says, "I'm very happy with the decision because we've had intervention after intervention on this issue. The Prime Minister has said that I am relying on you the leaders of Ngāpuhi to bring this matter to fruition."

Te Kotahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi say the Maranga Mai report has received widespread support from the hapū of Ngāpuhi as the way forward.  But the process has been stymied since the return of the Ngāpuhi Chair Sonny Tau after his recent highly publicised fall from grace.

Rudy Taylor says, "We fronted up to the transition team with our members and OTS and of course Tūhoronuku never.  I say this because the interference from one person within Ngapuhi has delayed that process and that's what we're not happy with and we tried to tell the prime minister that at no point are we gonna step back on this issue because we've gone through the hard yards of getting our people together."

Hone Sadlier says, "I have no issue with it because it allows Ngāpuhi to speak for itself.  We've always maintained they we are the authority so what better than to allow us to determine the outcome of the matter and I'm happy about that."

The government are yet to release an official statement on the decision and we await comment from the offices of both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Treaty Negotiations.