Tension sparks over Tūhoronuku progressing Ngāpuhi treaty settlement

By Dean Nathan

There was tension at a meeting of Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi today following the recent signing of terms of negotiation between the Crown and Tūhoronuku.

This development was announced on Friday by the Minister of Treaty Negotiations in regard to settling the claims of New Zealand's largest tribe. 

Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi bound together on Te Kotahitanga Marae.  Pita Tipene says, “The whole process is currently under investigation, which begs the question, why are the Crown pushing ahead with it?”

Hapū leaders are frustrated and feel like they are not being heard after years of claims.

Tipene says, “They've reached the stage of signing the terms of negotiation but neither the Crown nor Tūhoronuku are worried about the people of Ngāpuhi.”

This meeting marks the return of Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi amongst Ngāti Tautahi and Ngāti Whakaeke where six years ago they began their resistance to the Crown's support for Tūhoronuku. Today their stance hasn't changed.

Tipene says, “We will continue to fight. The court is an option for us as is voting against it in the ratification process.  So there are options for us to stop the Crown and Tūhoronuku.”