Tūhoronuku Board split over pathway to settlement

By Dean Nathan

An appeal has been made to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations to remove the Crown's recognition of the Tūhoronuku mandate to settle Ngāpuhi's treaty claims.

It's come from members of Tūhoronuku itself following their board's refusal to adopt a report recommending that the respective hapū of Ngāpuhi lead the process. 

The board of Tūhoronuku are split over the pathway to settlement of Ngāpuhi treaty claims.

Moana Tuwhare says, “Yes we've asked the Minister to support the maranga mai proposals being implemented and transferring the mandate to the new structure.  So if Tūhoronuku are of a mind to get our act together as a board and let that happen then there wouldn't be any need to remove it.”

Tuwhare says it's the biggest block to date to the settlement of Ngāpuhi treaty claims.

She says, “And it has become clear in the last few weeks that those modifications include a number of our trustees having no intention whatsoever of locating the decision making power with the hapū in regards to Ngāpuhi wide issues such at quantum.  So on issues as big as that they're wanting to retain the power and control amongst a very small number of elected trustees.”

Last week both Moana and Sam Napia moved a resolution to commit to the Maranga Mai report that recommends the hapū of Ngāpuhi lead the settlement  process. However, the board of Tūhoronuku voted against adopting the said report by 11 votes to 10.

Tuwhare says, “We're not prepared to stick around on a board that’s actually preventing us from moving forward rather than supporting us to move forward and we will be taking our guidance and direction from the people we're there to represent over the next few days to make a decision about whether we stay on this body or not.  And obviously that’s going to be informed directly by the hapū and hapū kaikorero and hapū representatives within our region.”

Tomorrow marks the deadline set by the Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson for Tūhoronuku to commit to a plan for settlement.