May 11, 2017
Mandate offer rejected as blackmail
Ngati Kahu Runanga chair Margaret Mutu is accusing Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson of blackmail for withdrawing her runanga's mandate to negotiate the far north tribe's historic settlement.
The runanga is asking the Waitangi Tribunal to order the crown to hand over land, including part of the former Aupouri state forest.
Mr Finlayson says the runanga failed to resolve questions about its mandate raised by some Ngati Kahu members and marae, so the crown will leave it up to the tribunal to consider mandate issues during the remedies hearing, if it goes ahead.
Professor Mutu told Radio Waatea host Titewhai Harawira he presented an option.
"If you do not go back to the tribunal and instead re-enter negotiations to settle your claims as per the government offer, we will pay you $94,400 to reconfirm your mandate. What do you call that? Blackmail," she says.
Professor Mutu says a Ngati Kahu hui a iwi at the weekend confirmed unanimously the decision to go back to the Waitangi Tribunal.
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