The historic Ngāpuhi Treaty settlement journey is gaining momentum, with the Government calling for submissions on the Tūhoronuku Deed of Mandate.
In a letter received from the Crown today, Tūhoronuku have been advised that the Crown will be advertising their mandate for public submissions in early July.
Ngāpuhi is by far the biggest Iwi in Aotearoa with an estimated 140,000 members. The Ngāpuhi settlement will be the last of the big Treaty settlements, and Iwi leaders and Government predict it will have a transformative effect on the struggling Northland economy
In September 2011, Ngāpuhi overwhelmingly gave their mandate to Te Rōpū o Tūhoronuku (Tūhoronuku) to represent them in negotiations on settlement of all Crown breaches and grievances against Ngāpuhi and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Since then Tūhoronuku has worked to strengthen the Deed of Mandate, giving hapū a greater voice and regional representation.
Once the Government recognise the Tuhoronuku mandate, the Tuhoronuku Independent Mandated Authority (Tuhoronuku IMA) comes into existence, holding elections for new representatives during the latter part of this year.
Settlement negotiations with the Government are expected to begin early in 2014, with the Government saying it hopes the process will be concluded by year end.
This is the last major historical Treaty settlement. Having the Crown recognise the mandate of Tuhoronuku to negotiate the settlement is key. It is often the most tricky part of the negotiations – ensuring that the negotiators have a widely recognised and supported mandate from the Iwi and hapu. Once you get that sorted out, the actual negotiations around the settlement are less complex (but still far from simple).
If there is a Ngāpuhi settlement by the end of 2014, then all the major settlements will be concluded. And I unashamedly say that is a good thing. Even though some doubt they will be enduring, what is their solution? To just stop the settlement halfway through and say no more settlements? Think if the Government did that in Christchurch? Those who have their insurance claim already done are okay, but those who have not yet had it processed miss out entirely – tough biscuits for them.