By Ripeka Timutimu - | @RipekaTimutimu

Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki spokesperson John Tamihere says they are on board with Tauranga iwi who are disputing a treaty settlement which would see Hauraki iwi establish rights in the Tauranga Harbour.

The stoush over rights in the harbour is heating up as claims are being made that Hauraki will sign off a Deed of Settlement next week, guaranteeing them a seat on the Tauranga Moana Governance Group. The deal is part of the Tauranga Moana Framework and would see Hauraki get one seat, Tauranga Moana get four seats, and five other seats going to local government representatives.

Tamihere says Hauraki shouldn't be at the table. "Well, some people have used their interests to take others’ rights; we have got interests all the way up the side of Te Tai Rāwhiti but that doesn't mean we go and seize mana whenua and mana moana rights."

According to Hauraki's whakatauki 'Mai Matakana ki Matakana', their area of interest starts at Tauranga Harbour, traversing across the Hauraki Plains, and through Tāmaki Makaurau. This has ruffled the feathers of iwi there, including Ngāti Whatua Ōrākei who have questioned the Treaty settlement process.

Former MP Tamihere says political processes override tikanga.

"If you're winning, tikanga goes out the door. So if you're on the winning side, and you're doing better with a Crown negotiation, you don't go to tikanga; so Hauraki is doing very well without ‘tikanga’."

Tauranga Moana elders are meeting tomorrow at Whareroa Marae to discuss where to next for their iwi.

Ripeka Timutimu will have reaction from Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell on Te Karere at 3:55pm, TVNZ 1.