July 23, 2019
No political will to change rules for Ngāpuhi
New Zealand First Minister Shane Jones believes the circumstances are becoming more positive for settling the Ngāpuhi claim – but the people need to accept there will only be one settlement.
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has been in the north over the past week talking with the various factions, but he refused to go along with a Ngāti Hine request that he fund its efforts to win support for a separate mandate.
Mr Jones says many of those who voted last year against resuming negotiations under a modified mandate now realise they did not have a better option to put forward.
There is no political will to spend more time or money indulging Ngāpuhi dissidents, and New Zealand First won't vote for the settlement to be broken up.
"So unless Ngāpuhi lead the National Party and the Labour Party acting together are going to agree to 10 separate settlements which they say will take 25 years, I know from talking to the National Party that after the tawdry treatment of (former treaty negotiations minister) Chris Finlayson they're not going to put out the hand of friendship if there is no rational outcome that they can see," Mr Jones says.
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