20 Aug 2011

Division in Ngapuhi over Treaty settlements

8:13 am on 20 August 2011

A hapu opposed to early settlement of Ngapuhi Treaty claims says it will push ahead to have its actual land claims heard by the Waitangi Tribunal.

The Ngapuhi runanga-led board, Tuhoronuku, is seeking a mandate to settle the tribe's Treaty grievances, which would bypass the hearing process. It held the first of 18 hui in Auckland on Friday.

Hapu alliance Te Kotahitanga which is against the proposal says people are divided over whether to vote for the mandate, which gives the board power to negotiate a settlement with the Crown.

Spokesperson Pita Tipene says voting papers have been sent to people who are not eligible to vote, and accuses the board of being interested only in a quick cash settlement.

But Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau says the majority of Ngapuhi support the mandate.

Ngapuhi is the country's largest iwi and 60% of the registered members live in Auckland.