4 Mar 2014

Titewhai calls for unity over claims

10:36 am on 4 March 2014

Ngapuhi kuia Titewhai Harawira is urging northern hapu to support a push to settle the iwi's Treaty claims.

Mrs Harawira says she's talked to Ngapuhi people from Hokianga to Invercargill, and they want to get on with the settlement.

Titewhai Harawira, right.

Titewhai Harawira, right. Photo: RNZ

Her call for action comes on the heels of an announcement by a major Ngapuhi sub-tribe, Ngati Hine, that it's pulling out of the settlement process.

It says Tuhoronuku, the runanga-led board the Government's agreed to deal with, is unacceptable to its hapu as a vehicle to settle the claims and 40,000 Ngati Hine are poised to walk away and take the matter to court.

Titewhai Harawira, who is an advisor to the runanga, says Tuhoronuku gives all Ngapuhi a chance to be represented in the settlement process, whether they live in Tai Tokerau, or urban areas such as Auckland.

The Ngapuhi matriarch, 80, is attending a series of hui being run by Tuhoronuku in the north this week, to brief hapu on elections for a new board that will direct negotiations with the Crown.

Ngati Hine leader Waihoroi Shortland says it will take more than Mrs Harawira to change his iwi's mind about settling with the Crown.

Mr Shortland says the Government's decision to do a bulk deal with Tuhoronuku is unacceptable and his people will play no part in it.

He says he understands Hokianga hapu are also set to follow Ngati Hine in walking away from the settlement process.