Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau says the Northland based iwi is significantly closer to entering negotiations with the Crown to settle its Treaty claim.
The largest tribe in New Zealand has just received a letter from the Treaty Negotiations and Maori Affairs Ministers, confirming the Crown's support of Te Ropu O Tuhoronuku's proposed amendments to a Deed of Mandate.
Tuhoronuku is a sub committee of the runanga which the majority of iwi members gave authority to in 2011, to represent the tribe in Treaty negotiations.
Mr Tau is the interim chair and says the Crown's support of changes to the deed, is a huge leap in what's been a long journey, and one not without its challenges.
He says because the iwi has about 250 hapu it's not surprising that there's been some dissension about who should be representing the iwi in negotiations.
Sonny Tau expects the Crown to make a final decision in July on recognising Tuhoronuku's mandate.