January 15, 2017
Minister hands on for Ngapuhi talks.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson has taken a hands on approach to restarting Ngapuhi’s stalled treaty claim negotiation process.
The Minister met in Auckland on Friday with the leaders of mandated negotiating body Tuhoronuku and the rival grouping Te Kotahitanga o Nga Hapu o Ngapuhi.
Tuhoronuku has been refusing to send its representatives to meetings which were supposed to lead to a transition from the Tuhoronuku model to one which includes representatives from both groups.
That’s because it was concerned at the inflexibility of the crown’s negotiator, Nigel Fyfe, regarding interpretation of the Maranga Mai report.
While the report was supposed to be a blueprint for the new model, it lacks detail on many critical mechanisms and could leave large parts of the tribe unrepresented.
Tuhoronuku chair Hone Sadler says now his group has been permitted to contribute to the terms of reference, its transition team can now start work.
He says it’s important to have a structure which can make decisions for all of Ngapuhi, rather than have individual regions making decisions that end up binding the whole tribe.
Mr Sadler says the Maranga Mai process has set negotiations more than a year behind, and he hopes the transition process can be completed and new negotiators appointed in three months, rather than the six envisaged.
The priority is to agree on a broad settlement quantum that can be written into this year’s budget, with a lot of the detail of the settlement to be worked out later.
Te Kotahitanga co-chair Rudy Taylor says the hui was positive, and he hopes the process is back on track.
The transition teams will meet next week, and Mr Finlayson is scheduled to hold a dinner with the two sides when he is in Waitangi next month.
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