Urban Ngāpuhi want say in proposed treaty mandate

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Ngāpuhi descendants living in Auckland want to be at the table as the tribe seeks to settle their treaty claim.

Minister of Treaty Settlements, Andrew Little, met with urban Ngāpuhi as part of his hui to discuss a new proposed mandate for negotiations with the crown.

Urban Ngāpuhi were all ears as Minister Andrew Little laid out his new proposal.

One proposal is four urban representatives selected by urban Ngāpuhi would sit on the Regional Negotiation Body to talk directly with the crown. Two from Auckland, one from Wellington and one from the South Island.

“For especially Tāmaki we've got sites of significance for Ngāpuhi here and there's lots of Ngāpuhi that live here,” said Waitematā urban representative, Tina Barclay.

“So for them to have a voice at the tēpu on how to address some of the issues that pertain to here would be good.”

Little has been meeting with Ngāpuhi in the North over the last few weeks about the new hapū-based mandate. However, he says this can be challenging for some urban dwellers.

“There's a lot of Ngāpuhi, uri of Ngāpuhi who live in area's like Tāmaki Makaurau who don't know which hapū they're from,” he said.

“And it's not about either or, it's about understanding that and through whatever arrangement they set up in the agreement we reach, moving to a point where all of Ngāpuhi eventually know which hapū they're a part of.”

At the 2013 census, there were 125,000 people that identified as Ngāpuhi. Around 50,000 of those lived here in Auckland. The gathering says that's more reason for them to have a voice.

“If they decide to elect an autonomous urban representative I support that, if they decided to elect a hapū member as a representative on the Regional Negotiating Body, I support that,” said Tāmaki MP Peeni Henare.

“The important thing is that they have a say.”

Little will hold two discussion hui in Christchurch, with the first meeting on Friday.