Former Treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen is set to jump the fence and become a negotiator for central North Island iwi Tuwharetoa when he leaves Parliament.
Labour sources yesterday confirmed Dr Cullen would quit before the May 28 Budget, as reported by The Dominion Post on Wednesday, to take up the role.
Dr Cullen will bring intimate knowledge to the job from his former roles as deputy prime minister and finance minister, as well as Treaty negotiations minister.
After the so-called "Treelords" settlement over central North Island forests last year, Dr Cullen credited Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu for bringing the iwi together to cut the $400 million deal that had eluded the Crown and Maori for more than 20 years.
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