7 Jul 2011

No time to wait for Treaty settlement - Tau

1:03 pm on 7 July 2011

Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau says the largest and poorest iwi in the country cannot afford to wait years for a Treaty settlement.

Ngapuhi took its grievances over sovereignty to the Waitangi Tribunal last year. Nine of its hapu now want a second round of hearings on land claims before negotiating a settlement.

But Mr Tau says that could take years and Tuhoronuku, a board set up to seek a mandate for a second round of hearings, is ready to act now.

He says he believes the majority of Ngapuhi want direct negotiations with the Crown as soon as possible.

Mr Tau says if ever Ngapuhi needed a boost, it is now and Tuhoronuku intends to begin the process of seeking a mandate next month.

He says deferring settlement would cost Ngapuhi millions of dollars in lost interest, and the iwi with the worst social statistics in the country, needs those assets now.