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Ed Sheeran

Cost counted of failed claim negotiations

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A Ngati Kahu elder says the far north tribe’s runanga should get back to the negotiating table or step aside and give the job to someone else in the iwi.

Runanga chair Margaret Mutu has defended her refusal to settle as the will of whanau and hapu and says she refuses to be manipulated by Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson.

But Haititaimarangai Marae kaumatua Atihana Johns, who has been involved with the claim since it was lodged 30 years ago, says the runanga has shown it is just not good at negotiating.

He says Professor Mutu’s demand for a $200 million plus settlement is totally unrealistic, and she should have stayed with the other Muriwhenua iwi to secure a settlement covering the whole region.

"The opportunity cost of not settling is huge now. Just think how it is that the other four now are away, they're away laughing, they can so something with their claim. We can't because we've gone off the table in the negotiations," he says.

Atihana Johns says he agrees with the Treaty Minister Christopher Finlayson that the Ngati Kahu runanga has worn out its mandate.
 

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