Ngāpuhi hapū take to the polls for tribe's Treaty settlement

By Raniera Harrison

Ngāpuhi hapū made a decision on whether or not to accept the government's evolved mandate over the weekend- some remain worried.

Hapū members are uncertain about processes being followed in some hui ā hapū consultation to settle the Ngāpuhi Treaty claim.

This follows hapū consultation meetings around the region.

"Some hapū members are really angry, they enter the hui, and are essentially pushed out," says Whangārei Terenga Parāoa hapū spokeswoman, Huhana Lyndon.

Around 41 Ngāpuhi hapū met over the weekend to discuss whether they support the evolved mandate being promoted by the Crown.

"How can hapū exercise authority over proceedings if the Crown has control over the process?  That's what's driving us.  There is a need to correct that to not allow the Crown to lead proceedings," says Rāti Sinclair, of Tekauimua hapū, based at Matawaia.

Official confirmation of hui ā hapū mandates for the evolved settlement are yet to be released by the Office of Treaty Settlements and Te Puni Kōkiri.

Te Rōpū Tūhono representative, Raniera Tau says he's concerned hapu members could be misinformed.

"The people are not being told the correct information.  They are being told all sorts of things which are confusing" says Tau.

Te Kāea contacted the Treaty Negotiations Minister for comment.  A spokesperson said that it would not be right to comment whilst voting was still taking place.

"The Minister of Treaty Negotiations should remain quiet. The decision making process lies solely in the hands of Ngāpuhi," adds Tau.

The iwi could receive up to $300mil.  However, Lyndon says money is not the issue for hapū.

"The most important thing for me is coming together as an iwi after the voting process.  That's a big thing for us," says Lyndon.

Individual voting for the evolved mandate closes on Friday.