Submissions for Tūhoronuku representatives close

By Dean Nathan

The election of members to Tūhoronuku closed only this afternoon in a process aimed at appointing representatives for the respective tribes of Ngāpuhi to the body mandated to settle the Ngāpuhi Treaty of Waitangi claim.

It has not been all  smooth running with the process attracting hostility and a lot of opposition creating division among hapū.

Elections NZ advised this week that to date over sixty people have been nominated to represent fifty Ngāpuhi hapū on Tūhoronuku.

“Hapū must have their representatives in the tent and not outside urinating into it but standing inside and doing the work that is needed” says Sonny Tau, of Tūhoronuku.

It is a process that has attracted hostility and protest across the region and only last week allegations of misreporting of election results were presented at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing in Hokianga.

“The evidence has been presented to the tribunal and Tūhoronuku has been found out” says Pita Tipene.

After only a minimal period the election was closed only to be reopened following a direction by the Waitangi Tribunal concerned at the Crowns' conduct on the issue to date.

Given the size and complexities of the settlement and the level of opposition the tribunal queried why the Crown wasn't disclosing vital information to enable hapū to make an informed decision on the matter.

The election process closed for a second time this afternoon, with the final results out in due course.