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Ngapuhi's new leader wants investigation into tribe's finances after Sonny Tau's resignation

The new leader of Ngapuhi wants an independent investigation into the tribe's finances following the shock resignation of long-standing leader Sonny Tau.

Mere Mangu is now in charge of the country's largest tribe and with it, all its tribulations.

“I've been given this opportunity in a way that I didn't expect it,” Ms Mangu said.

The resignation of colourful Mr Tau, whose tenure will forever be linked to his conviction for hunting protected kereru, came as a big surprise to everyone.

“I discovered it like most people through the news, so I had no prior warning of it,” Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said.

Ms Mangu said: “I think it's normal process in these types of matters that we do have a comprehensive review. And that's all the more reason to have a review to quell those sorts of concerns, to give confidence back to our people."

It would be an investigation many say is a long time coming.

“It was certainly operated under a closed shop attitude,” former Labour MP Dover Samuels told 1 NEWS.

The big question for Ngapuhi is how much any investigation into the tribe's finances will distract from the real job at hand – settling the country's largest treaty claim.

Ms Mangu has inherited one of the toughest jobs in Māoridom - and that's to bring together the divided Ngapuhi.

Internal disagreement on who has the mandate to lead the negotiations has long been the sticking point.

“It doesn't make sense that we can't sit at one table and talk and come to an understanding in a way of conducting this whole, I don't like to call it settlement negotiations with the Crown so that it benefits everybody along the way.”

Mr Little hopes to sit down with the new leader in the next few weeks.

“I'm very keen to move things along. We were ready in fact the ministerial colleagues to make decisions in the next few weeks we've held off doing anything until we get clarity from Ngapuhi about where to next,” the minister said.

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It comes after the shock resignation of the tribe's long-standing leader Sonny Tau. Source: 1 NEWS