The Waitangi Tribunal has ruled that the Crown made a number of breaches in its negotiations with Ngapuhi.
The Crown appointed Tuhoronuku Independent Mandate Authority to represent Ngapuhi during treaty settlement negotiations.
But hapu including Ngati Hine have argued the group doesn’t have the mandate to oversee the negotiations and in December last year The Waitangi Tribunal held an urgent hearing over the concerns.
Today the tribunal released its report concluding the Crown had failed to protect the ability of hapu to exercise their rangatiratanga in deciding how and by whom they would be represented in settlement negotiations.
It went on to say that the structure and processes of Tuhoronuku deny hapu any effective means of withdrawing from it or exerting control over how it represents them.
The Tribunal recommends the Crown delay its negotiations with the Tuhoronuku IMA to give Ngapuhi the time and space needed to address the flaws the Tribunal has identified.
Ngapuhi is the country’s largest iwi and it is estimated the settlement could be worth as much as $250 million.