An opportunity to make submissions and present research results to the Waitangi Tribunal, and for Mahurangi Taiwhenua hapū has arisen in recent days.
It's a pathway to make their own submissions for inclusion in the Ngāpuhi Treaty of Waitangi claim processes.
A spokesperson of Ngāti Manu and Ngāti Rongo, Arapeta Hamilton stated, “we did not line the Crowns pockets with silver in order for a negotiator to be hired, and we did not agree that the Te Rūnanga ā-iwi o Ngāpuhi should settle claims on our behalf.”
While kaumatua Rihari Dargaville noted, “some of our hapū here in Ngāti Whātua who now class themselves as multi-waka under law, that although they have blocked us from their claims, they cannot deny Ngāpuhi genealogy which links them to this area.”
Submissions to the Tribunal should show hapū, whānau and iwi, are on the same waka, and are rowing as one in the same direction, towards the same goal.
Ngāpuhi kaumatua, Kingi Taurua, says that “We're here to make sure that the Tribunal takes into account the 1835 Treaty that was signed is still relevant and guides all submissions here today.”
However there are concerns from some quarters that things are not going to plan.
“There appears to be dissention between sub-tribe and family, although they are all related. some are claiming to be the spokesperson for this whānau and that sub-tribe, however it seems they are speaking on their own behalf,” adds Nuki Aldridge of Ngāti Uru, Whangaroa.
The Tribunals main objective is to come up with the best solution that everyone will agree with, however after the Prime Minister John Key's fiscal attempt to speed up the settlement process, there may be rough waters that lie ahead.