20 Aug 2011

Ngapuhi holds first mandating hui

10:57 pm on 20 August 2011

Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau says the first mandating hui for the tribe's treaty claim has gone ahead in Auckland without major disturbance.

The Ngapuhi runanga-led board, Tuhoronuku, has begun a series of hui around the country seeking the iwi's approval to start negotiations with the crown.

The move is opposed by a hapu alliance, Te Kotahitanga. They have asked for speaking rights and called for all the hui to be open to the news media, although Mr Tau has said whether or not reporters are allowed in will be up to those attending the individual meetings.

Mr Tau says members of dissenting hapu were vocal but did not disrupt the the first hui held on Friday afternoon in Avondale. News media were allowed in to report on the meeting.

About 150 people attended and he says many of those present have case their votes.

The mandating process is being managed by the independent body, Elections New Zealand.

A second Auckland hui is being held on Friday evening at Hoani Waititi marae with two more on Saturday in Otara and Mangere.

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