Te Kotahitanga co-chair Pita Tipene is calling for key leaders in the facilitation of the Ngāpuhi settlement to step down.
This follows reports of over $6M of expenditure by the Ngāpuhi mandated authority Tuhoronuku to facilitate settlement but with no result in sight.
Mr Tipene says that he is also ready to step aside, "It's been close to a decade now of problems and infighting and over $6mil spent and we're no closer to seeing any benefit whatsoever for the people of Ngapuhi. So I'm looking firmly at the current leadership. I think it's time to change those driving this bus."
Te Kotahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi received only $165,000 of the total $6M for its part in facilitating settlement despite playing a key role in leading the majority of Ngāpuhi claims before the Waitangi Tribunal.
Tipene says, "Our key focus is to ensure the sacred house of Ngapuhi stands firm. But Tuhoronuku has rocked our house to its foundations and it continues to fall under their leadership. Something needs to change and I'm saying it's the leadership. I myself Pita Tipene as a leader am prepared to step aside from my role as should Sonny Tau."
A co-chair of Te Kotahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi, Tipene refers to the proverb "Ngāpuhi Taniwharau" and says there are hundreds more taniwha waiting in the wings to lead the settlement process.
He says, "Some peoples wallets have grown fat in this process and there are leaders who have become accustomed to and more focused on the money. But money is neither our priority or our motivation, it's about achieving a just settlement of our people."