Another setback cited in Ngapuhi claim
The Government's attempts to settle Ngapuhi's treaty claim has run into another problem.
The Waitangi Tribunal wants more hapu to be consulted on the mandate to negotiate on the iwi's behalf.
The Government had accepted hapu group Tuhoronuku as the iwi's negotiating representative, although not all hapu agreed to that.
Now the tribunal has said in a report released today all hapu should be given a chance to reconsider their position.
The recommendation isn't binding and the Government could decide to ignore it.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is considering the report.
It isn't the first problem he's had with a negotiating mandate for Ngapuhi because of internal power struggles.
The tribunal hasn't found fault with the way Mr Finlayson has handled the situation.
Labour's Nanaia Mahuta says the minister should accept the recommendation and test whether hapu want to unite under Tuhoronuku or form another group.
Because of the size of Ngapuhi, the claim is expected to be substantial and is now one of the last major treaty claims to still be negotiated.
When National came to power in 2008, it wanted all treaty settlements completed by 2014, but that's been pushed out to 2017.