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Ed Sheeran

Iwitanga stronger than hapū for many Ngāpuhi

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Ngāpuhi chair Sonny Tau says the people have had enough with arguing and want the chance to move their settlement forward.

The polls are open on an evolved mandate.

Mr Tau says while there are still people turning up at every hui pushing their opposition, most Ngāpuhi want information so they can make their own decision.

They’re being asked to vote whether they agree with a new structure where cultural redress is negotiated by six regional hapū clusters, but the overall commercial settlement is negotiated and held separately.

They must also say whether the Ngāpuhi Rūnanga should continue to be represented on the settlement body, and how urban and kuia-kaumātua representatives should be selected.

Mr Tau says the model shares settlement benefits fairly, and critics have failed to come up with a credible alternative.

"Forty percent of Ngāpuhi don't know who their hapū are but they do know they are Ngāpuhi. To say we give all the cash from commercial and quantum back to the hapū in these six areas is a false economy because 40 percent will be disenfranchised," he says.

Sonny Tau says the debate over Ngāpuhi sovereignty and He Wakaputanga the 1835 Declaration of Independence can be set aside for later, because the claim is about making the crown accountable for its breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

There’s an information hui for tribe members in Auckland at Alexandra Park Raceway from 5.30 this evening.




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