The 80 year-old Ngapuhi iwi kuia, Titewhai Harawira, says now is the time for the country's largest Maori tribe to settle its claim with the Crown to redress grievances under the Treaty of Waitangi.
In the latest sign that the 125,000-strong iwi may settle ahead of this year's general election, Harawira issued a two-page statement under the letterhead of Tuhornuku, the independent authority mandated to settle the claims after years of friction that have not fully subsided between competing elements of the tribe.
While media reports on Waitangi Day last month put a figure of $500 million on Ngapuhi's ambitions for settlement, tribal sources have indicated a sum of around half that size is more realistically expected.
Labour MP and Ngapuhi member Shane Jones told the National Business Review on Feb. 24 that he believed a figure "in the vicinity" of $250 million was necessary "if you are going to deal with it adequately."
He described the half billion dollar figure as "getting out into the universe somewhere near the planet Uranus."
In today's statement, Harawira says "the only thing that will stop us progressing is ourselves."
The mother of Hone Harawira, the only sitting MP for the left-wing Mana Party who jealously guards her role as the Prime Minister's escort on the Waitangi marae at the annual Waitangi Day celebrations, said the next step for Ngapuhi was "to agree on our terms of negotiations, including how we're going to treat each other while on this journey."
No negotiating mandate had been sought ahead of last year's historic Waitangi Tribunal hearings on Ngapuhi's extensive claims against the Crown, but it was possible to move forward now that the hearings was completed and ahead of the tribunal's findings.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- European milk output falls for first time in more than a year, Fonterra says
- Warminger stood to gain significant bonus, court hears
- Sky will take a gamble and put Westworld, aka 'the next Game of Thrones' on Neon
- Where polls stand on the eve of the first US presidential debate
- Spark says 130,000 Xtra mail address at risk after Yahoo hack
Most listened to
- FMA counsel Justin Smith QC described Mr Warminger’s background and the pressure he was under to perform
- Media Snapchat: NBR’s Nick Grant ponders the Human Rights Commission’s role in RHOAKL racism row
- ASB's Jane Turner discusses what's behind NZ's widest month trade deficit
- Kathmandu's Xavier Simonet and Reuben Casey talk through the retailer's results.
- BNZ's Kymberly Martin and Massey University's David Tripe on mortgage rates.