Hapū within Ngāpuhi will not dance to the Crown's tune. That's the word from the co-chair of Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi following the Crown's acceptance of the Maranga Mai Report and its key recommendation that the respective hapū o Ngāpuhi lead the settlement of Ngāpuhi treaty claims.
Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi say it will not be dictated to by the Crown.
Pita Tipene says, “Ngāpuhi hapū will not dance to the Crown's tune because the hapū have their own autonomy. They will not take kindly to being told to hurry up.”
Despite the Crown's acceptance of the Maranga Mai Report and its recommendations, Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi say the Minister continues to dictate a process that will wrap it all up by Christmas.
Chris Finlayson says, “What we are going to do now is have a transitional set of discussions with a view to finalizing everything by the end of the year and I'm pretty positive that we'll get to a good result.”
“The Minister needs to be reminded that the authority of Ngāpuhi hapū is recognised in the 1835 Declaration of Independence and Te Tiriti O Waitangi, as is our relationship with the Crown. That needs to be the starting point for this relationship. The Crown needs to stop dictating to us their preferred process,” says Tipene.
To date, Ngāpuhi hapū have struggled to have their autonomy recognised. Hence the call by Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi for the Māori world to focus on the long-term outcomes as opposed to short-term gains.
Tipene says, “We want to move forward. Irrespective of what the Minister says, our priority is what the people of Ngāpuhi want and that goes back to the hapū leading the process to realise that.”
Finlayson says, “I just think that that would involve more time wasting. But my focus is on dealing with the transitional arrangements for Maranga Mai and secondly working with me on the commercial aspects.”