Hundreds meet to find way forward with Ngāpuhi's stalled treaty negotiations

Hundreds have met at a Northland marae to try and find a way forward for Ngāpuhi's stalled treaty negotiations.

While negotiations began a decade ago, they stalled because Ngāpuhi, New Zealand's largest iwi, couldn't agree on who should be negotiating for them.

Former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has blamed this on "useless leadership".

"There's a generation of leaders there that have failed and they need to move on and the younger generation needs to step up," said Mr Finlayson.

There are two main factions - those who think Ngāpuhi should be ruled from the centre and those who want more power handed to hapu to negotiate on their behalf.

Those at the hui, the first since a vote on a new mandate was rejected by iwi members in December, told Newshub they were hopeful for progress and to see attendees working together.

"I think more unity is what I want out of today, and it is to see our people working as one towards one goal," said Ngāpuhi Youth representative Codi Clarke.

"Ngāpuhi is so far a part that we are looking for that common ground to be able to come together."

But others are less hopeful, with Gabriel Henry from Ngāpuhi, saying the original negotiating group need to go.

"That is the answer… no one is going to do anything unless each individual hapu is able to do their own mandate."

No decision came from Saturday's hui, but the talks are a crucial first step.


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