March 26, 2017
Allegations Treaty Negotiations Minister blocked rejected.
Maniapoto negotiators have rejected suggestions Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson was blocked from leaving a meeting at Kawhia yesterday.
Members of Ngati Hikairo, who are seeking a mandate to negotiate their claims to the area, say when they became aware the minister was meeting Maniapoto at the Kawhia Bowling Club they blocked off the venue to prevent him leaving.
They say they are upset lead negotiator Nanaia Mahuta did not inform mana whenua of the meeting to allow them to participate.
But Ms Mahuta says the meeting was with a small group of Maniapoto negotiators and elders, not with Ngati Hikairo, so there was no need to invite anyone else.
She says the supposed blockade did not create any major problems.
For Ngati Hikairo to gain a mandate it will need to gain the support of neighbouring iwi, including Maniapoto and Waikato-Tainui.
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