On day two of the urgent hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal in Ngāpuhi, the chair of Tūhoronuku was directed by his lawyer not to give further media comment and hence an alternative spokesperson fronted.
Amongst all the cross examination and support songs for hapū speakers today were members of Tūhoronuku awaiting their turn to present.
Nora Rameka says, “We believe the pathway Tūhoronuku is currently following is right and true because we have yet to see any other option to revive our hapū and families in Ngāpuhi.”
Despite this hearing, Tūhoronuku are in the process right now of interviewing prospective candidates to negotiate with the Crown.
According to Rameka, “Ngāpuhi have been in poverty for a long time. And we continue talks but we still haven't found a solution to our future existence. But I can see a way forward within the Tūhoronuku process.”
A former spokesperson for Te Kotahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi who toiled in the preparations for the Te Paparahi o Te Raki hearings.
However when her people of Ngāti Rēhia swung their support in behind Tūhoronuku, Ms Rameka was subsequently appointed to replace Titewhai Harawira as the kuia for Tūhoronuku.
“There are some heavy words coming from some of our hapū but we want peace to prevail because this is a major issue and we must remember that it’s not just about us but our children and grandchildren,” she says.
Crown mediators Jim Bolger and Tūkoroirangi Morgan will appear before the Tribunal tomorrow.