The Minister of Treaty Settlements Christopher Finlayson has announced the Government has granted Tūhoronuku the recognition of mandate to represent Ngāpuhi in Treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown.
This has been a hotly debated issue within Ngāpuhi, and it was the subject of a meeting held in Auckland with Ngāpuhi representatives today.
Te Kāea was informed this evening that a mandate agreement had been reached. Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū has long fought against Tūhoronuku having the mandate, however, Tūhoronuku conducted its process and now it has that mandate.
On Waitangi Day, the Prime Minister announced that he would incentivise a settlement for Ngāpuhi. At the time, Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū stated that if Tūhoronuku was the mandated group, then they would consider court action. It's not known whether that is still their view now.
Te Kāea understands there was a major meeting held today in Auckland. Representatives from Te Kotahitanga and Tūhoronuku were reported to be in attendance.
While Te Kāea was unable to gage comment from the groups today we have been told that both groups will be holding meetings in Ngäpuhi this weekend to discuss the decision.