Radio NZ reported in December:
Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little will be forced to go back to the drawing board after Ngāpuhi overwhelmingly rejected a mandate for its Treaty settlement.Final voting results released yesterday confirmed the evolved Ngāpuhi treaty settlement mandate failed to win the vote of its people.
In November, the vote on the Evolved Mandate to move its Treaty negotiation forward was sent out to the people of Ngāpuhi.
The question of who should negotiate with the Crown has divided Ngāpuhi – some have sided with the group originally chosen – Tuhoronuku – and others have backed the hapu-based grouping, Te Kotahitanga.
In the months leading up to the vote, Mr Little led a roadshow across the country and in Australia promoting the new mandate.
But it was a resounding kāhore (no) from the people of Ngāpuhi – with 73 hapū rejecting the mandate and 31 in support.
The individual vote was 51 percent in favour and 48 percent against – but a threshold of 75 percent was needed to get the mandate over the line.
Mr Little said he was disappointed but the best thing right now was to “take bit of a breather”, and he was not giving up.
This is disappointing but not at all surprising.
I wish Andrew Little all the best in his endeavours here, but there is only so much the Government can do. You can’t force the hapu to agree on who represents them.
Some on the left had suggested that the failure to get a settlement was due to the former Minister, Chris Finlayson. I never thought this was the case, and the failure to once more agree on a mandate shows it isn’t about the Government.