June 20, 2014
Ngapuhi claimants seek to escape hinaki
Some Ngapuhi treaty claimants feel like they’re in an eel trap … and they hope the Waitangi Tribunal can get them out of it.
The tribunal held a judicial conference in the Bay of Islands this week to hear argument on whether it should hold an urgent hearing into the claim settlement process.
Twelve hapu and more than 80 claimants groups says the government’s intention to negotiate settlement of their claims with Tuhoronuku, a body set up by Te Runanga o Ngapuhi, is a further breach of their claims.
Pita Tipene from Ngati Hine says many hapu believe they’re being treated differently than other iwi so the crown can meet its self-imposed deadline for settlements.
"Tuhoronuku is an ancient Ngapuhi name for a kite, for a manu aute. Yesterday it was described as being more a hinaki in trying to trap all of the claimants and hapu into one single settlement, and the point was made very clear than an iwi like that of the Minister for Maori Affairs, Kahungunu, there have been five settlements down there that have totalled far more than if Kahungunu was lumped into one settlement," he says.
Mr Tipene says getting it right is more important than getting a quick settlement.
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