Ancient sub-tribes, which are no longer in existence, have been named on a list of tribes to have their representatives appointed to Tūhoronuku, the group recently given the mandate to settle all Ngāpuhi Treaty of Waitangi claims with the Government.
Today saw the meeting of Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi meeting to discuss and finalise the true legitimacy of some of these hapū that have led to Tūhoronuku gaining the mandate to negotiate with the Crown.
It is said that some tribal names are missing from the list, while other groupings that have been name have not existed, or have been obsolete since the eponymous ancestor of Ngāpuhi, Rāhiri took control over 500 years ago.
Ngāti Hine elder Erima Henare states that, “by the time the European arrived, Hineāmaru [ancestress of Ngāti Hine] had gained all the authority in this region under the Ngāti Hine tribe and yet I look at the list and see the names of former tribes that no longer exist in this region are listed and I'm rather shocked by that.”
The true issue with the list released by Tūhoronuku is that the respective parties of each region are still to meet to come to a unanimous settlement on the names of respective tribes.
Erima adds that he has “never heard of any meetings to clarify the tribes that are here before presenting the list of tribes to the Minister. So that’s what you get when you take names out of Pākehā history books and claim that they're the tribes with authority.”
While some tribes have already decided to support the Tūhoronuku mandate to negotiate the Ngāpuhi Treaty claims, the majority of the tribes present at the meeting of Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi in Waiomio today were of the intention to oppose it and are looking at the options available to them to stop it.
Tūhoronuku has advised Te Kāea that they will be well prepared to answer any queries on the list of tribes and other issues at the upcoming meetings, which are scheduled to be held in the upcoming days.
Voting to elect hapū representatives on Tūhoronuku begins this week.