The united sub-tribes of Ngapuhi say they are elated with the Waitangi Tribunal's decision to hold an urgent hearing into the approval of Tuhoronuku by the Crown to lead settlement negotiations.
The 12 hapu had been demanding more representation and the tribunal has found that the Crown effectively "picked a winner" by selecting and funding Tuhoronuku and excluding alternative options.
The co-chair of Te Kotahitanga o Nga Hapu o Ngapuhi said it is an opportunity to look at the evidence in earnest.
Pita Tipene said the Crown has not been even-handed or recognised the part hapu play in the settlement process, but that could now change.
Mr Tipene said hapu feel vindicated now that the Waitangi Tribunal has written into the memorandum that the Crown had "picked a winner" and provided it with millions of dollars of taxpayers' money.
He said the Crown did not allow the people of Ngapuhi to view all the available options and had been single-minded in trying to get Tuhoronuku across the line.
That has been to the detriment of hapu, he said, which have been trying their best to talk to the Crown and Tuhoronuku.