April 15, 2013
More talking needed on treaty timetable
Te Kotahitanga Co-chair Pita Tipene has asked Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson to taihoa on negotiating Ngapuhi's historic treaty claims.
Mr Finlayson says around June he will advertise the Crown's intention to accept the mandate to the Ngapuhi Rūnanga-backed Te Rōpū ō Tuhoronuku to negotiate on behalf of the iwi.
Elections will then be held for a new slate of trustees, and talks could start early next year.
Mr Tipene says more talking is needed.
“All we're saying is to the minister, hey taihoa. We’re just about there. Don’t be too hasty based on what the National party want. Think about what Ngapuhi wants. We’re all relations. Just because we’ve got differences of opinion with Sonny Tau, we only live down the road from each other and no one’s going anywhere. We have to work together in the future for the vision Te Kotahitanga and Tuhoronuku, which is for the better circumstances for all our people,” Peter Tipene from Te Kotahitanga says.
Meanwhile, Ngapuhi Chair Sonny Tau is urging Ngāti Hine and Te Kotahitanga leaders to stand for election to the tribe's claim negotiating body, Te Rōpū Tuhoronuku.
Treaty Negotiations Minister, Chris Finlayson, has indicated he intends to accept Tuhoronuku's mandate, after which elections will be held under the eye of an independent overseer.
Te Kotahitanga, which includes Ngāti Hine and other hapū opposed to the Ngapuhi Rūnanga being involved in historic treaty claims, has been trying to block negotiations until the Waitangi Tribunal has heard all the northern claims.
But Mr Tau says the tribe can't keep fighting amongst itself.
“Sometimes good leaders have to climb down off their high horses, get down and get your hands dirty. It’s no use sitting back and throwing stones from outside. If you want to change something, you’ve got to get in and make the change – but we’ve welcomed them to do that,” Sonny Tau from Te Rōpū ō Tuhoronuku says.
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