March 03, 2014
Settlement above marae politics
Northland-based Labour list MP Shane Jones is warning that Ngapuhi hapu leaders should not allow marae politics to get in the way of what is good for the whole tribe.
The tribe’s largest hapu, the 40,000 strong Ngati Hine, voted on Saturday to boycott Tuhoronuku, the body set up by the Ngapuhi runanga to negotiate Northland’s historic claims.
Hokianga hapu have taken a similar position.
Mr Jones says because the Crown doesn’t have much land in the north, the settlement will be mostly cash.
"If it’s handled correctly with the right governance structure, after the internal Ngapuhi wrangles are over, I mean I understand the people on the marae are angry with (Ngapuhi Runanga chair) Sonny Tau, but this is not about marae politics, this is about the largest tribe in the Maori race with the opportunity to create a capital base of $250 million dollars," he says.
Mr Jones says with its 125,000 members, a cashed up Ngapuhi could quickly become a dominant force in Maoridom.
Tuhoronuku is holding information hui in the north this week, starting in Kaikohe this evening.
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