Negotiator Rick Barker.
The iwi, with significant interests in Auckland, considers Mr Barker has acted in bad faith, interfering in the internal affairs of the iwi by acting beyond his remit and mandate as Crown Crown Negotiator.
Ms Tukua says Mr Barker is deliberately destabilising the Iwi by playing one iwi board off against the other. Ms Tukua says “Our people are familiar with this tactic of divide and conquer and we will not put up with and making a stand.”
While in the middle of settlement negotiations, at present the iwi has two boards operating on its behalf. The first is the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board (otherwise known as the ‘Trust Board’). Its role is finite as it will eventually wind down once settlement negotiations are complete. In the meantime, the Trust Board acts as the mandated entity for Treaty negotiations.
Last night at one of the largest iwi meetings seen in recent times the iwi moved a vote of no confidence in the Trust Board and moved to send a formal letter of complaint to the Minister about the behaviour of his Lead Crown Negotiator, Mr Barker.
Chair of the other board, the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust, Gary Thompson states “I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the interference of the Crown in our affairs. We were established and endorsed by the Iwi and the Crown in 2013 but 5 years on the Chief Crown Negotiator is dictating what we should do, when we should do it and how. We accepted the Crown’s Trust Deed and we ask to be left alone to get on with securing and growing our settlement.”
Iwi mandated Negotiator Morehu Wilson says “The people have spoken. My mandate comes from the people. With all the antics and politics, it was important to take it back to the people. It was important to me to get their guidance and direction and ultimate decision on what needs to happen. As far as I am concerned the people have spoken.”