Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau says a ruckus at the runanga's AGM at the weekend threatens to overshadow some real achievements.
A man hurled a chair at Mr Tau, accusing him of failing to intervene when one woman threatened to punch another who'd queried the accounts.
Mr Tau says that, in the words of President Barack Obama, democracy is noisy and messy.
He says the incident should not obscure the fact that the Ngapuhi runanga has made some significant gains this year, including an increase of $6 million in the value of its assets.
Mr Tau says Ngapuhi has had to spenda lot of money on the mandate process the Crown requires before it negotiates Treaty claims - but the runanga will be reimbursed once the Government accepts the mandate.