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Ed Sheeran

Whakatohea hapū reject parallel negotiation process

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Whakatohea hapū are asking for negotiations over the Opotiki-based iwi’s claims to stop and a full historical inquiry to be mounted.

Te Kani Williams, the lawyer for Ngāi Tamahaua hapū, says a proposal by the crown to negotiate in parallel with any inquiry is unsatisfactory, because the Waitangi Tribunal’s report should be used to guide any negotiations.

He says the tribunal has already criticised the mandate process, but the crown seems willing to use the votes of individual iwi members to overrule the hapū which have lodged the claims.

"Where we’re at right now is we've all been filing memoranda with the tribunal saying 'look, there is no reason you can't have an inquiry. The fact negotiations may or may not be occurring with the crown in light of its current publications doesn't stop the fact you should be having an inquiry if those claiamnts who have sought to withdraw their claims from that process are asking for it and certainly that’s the case," Mr Williams says.

The crown has indicated that the $100 million settlement negotiated with the Whakatohea Pre-Settlement Trust remains on the table whatever happens with the mandating process.

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