Sonny Tau has confirmed he has voluntarily stood down as the Chairperson of Tuhoronuku. He has told Te Kāea he stepped down for the good of Ngāpuhi.
Tau has held the role of Chairman for 7 years and following a recent investigation into his alleged illegal possession of Kereru in the South Island, pressure has mounted for him to stand down as an iwi representative.
According to a statement issued by Tūhoronuku in a meeting last night it was confirmed that Deputy Chair, Sam Napia will be the Acting Chair and Moana Tuwhare was elected Deputy Chair.
The statement confirmed he will remain a trustee on the 22-strong board.
The board said the decision was made to prevent distraction, and to allow the Tūhoronuku IMA to focus fully on settlement negotiations with the Crown.
Mr Napia says the Ngāpuhi settlement timetable remained on track, it was business as usual for the Tūhoronuku IMA and the Ngāpuhi negotiators, with a new round of Hapū Kaikōrero elections currently under way.
He says no further comment would be made at this time, as the Tūhoronuku IMA was focussed on the important mahi ahead.
A number of politicians including Rino Tirikatene and Te Taitokerau MP, Kelvin Davis have called for Tau to resign and attempt to regain his position if he still had confidence his people supported him.