It is time for Ngapuhi to be heard, with the Ngapuhi Te Tiriti (Treaty) settlement journey beginning today.
Almost 30 000 voting packs are in the post as Ngapuhi’s settlement entity Te Ropu o Tuhoronuku (Tuhoronuku) seeks mandate to represent the iwi in settlement negotiations with the Crown.
However, many more than this will be voting. All Ngapuhi over 18 have four voting options:
• and at mandate hui, to be held throughout Northland, Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Invercargill. Also in Sydney and Perth, where many Ngapuhi now live.
Full information on voting options and hui dates and venues, is available on the www.tuhoronuku.com website.
The election process is being managed by independent Christchurch-based organisation Electionz.com Ltd, who also ran the 2010 Local Government election.
This will be the last big Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty) settlement.
One in five Maori proudly affiliate to Ngapuhi, which is Aotearoa’s biggest Iwi.
Ngapuhi have a population of 122 214 (2006 Census), of whom 60 percent live in the greater Auckland area. Approximately 13 percent live in the Ngapuhi home region of Northland.
Said Tuhoronuku interim chairman, Raniera (Sonny) Tau: “Every year settlement is delayed is a year of wasted opportunity for our people, especially our young people.
“It is time for Ngapuhi to take their rightful place in Aotearoa and become an economic force that is able to provide cultural, social and education advancement.
“After 44 hui and talking to Ngapuhi over the last three years in Aotearoa, Sydney and Perth, we are finally ready. Mandate voting will give all Ngapuhi the opportunity to have their say.”
In June, Tuhoronuku commissioned an independent Horizon Research survey to gauge how Ngapuhi were thinking. The survey found:
• 91% of Ngapuhi want to negotiate a settlement
• 69% support for Tuhoronuku holding mandate
• 50% want settlement negotiations to continue in parallel with Waitangi Tribunal hearings
Mr Tau said those Ngapuhi who want more information on how they can participate in the voting process should go to the Tuhoronuku website www.tuhoronuku.com or phone 0508 666 447.