Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said a meeting with iwi leaders at Kerikeri today was “positive, constructive” and “direct” – going both ways.

The annual National Iwi Chairs Forum is an opportunity for those iwi leaders to come face to face with the Government, ahead of Waitangi Day next week.

Luxon confirmed he, New Zealand First deputy leader Shane Jones and ACT leader David Seymour spoke at the hui, which was closed to the public and media.

Afterwards, he told reporters the relationship between the Crown and Māori needed to be built on trust, and there was “goodwill on both sides” to make the relationship “work incredibly well”.

He said recent legal Treaty settlement challenges were not discussed individually or in detail during the hui, but broader challenges were.

Luxon said that included what more iwi leaders could do for Māori as well as what the Government could do in tikanga, constitutional issues and outcomes for Māori and non-Māori.

An example, Luxon said, was the role of iwi to make sure Māori students attended school.

He said if that was not addressed, “consequences for all of us are not great”.

Luxon said the National Party talked “the language of outcomes” but they were achieved by a collaboration between the Government, iwi and business.

Rahui Papa, a māngai (spokesperson) for the forum, said there were “some glimmers of light” to come from the discussions and areas where they could collaborate.

However, there were a number of things that “grate at the Māori soul”.

“We have determined that we will maintain the right to fight, maintain the right to challenge for those sorts of constitutional kaupapa we feel are fundamental to the forward looking phase of Aotearoa.”

Papa said the vast majority of people who had contacted forum leaders had said the Treaty Principles Bill would be divisive.

There were also concerns about proposals to disestablish Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority, among other things.

Papa said they took Luxon’s comments about schooling on board.

“Of course we want them educated, but we want them educated not just in the western world, but we want them cloaked in their culture as well.”

“When tikanga and best practice come together, that’s where magic happens for all tamariki.”

ACT leader David Seymour said there had been “differences” in the room at the hui, but overall it was “positive”.

ACT leader David Seymour adresses media after speaking to iwi leaders.

He said he’d been asked for selfies with some people, but other people told him they would never agree with him.

He also claimed one or some iwi leaders effectively said they didn’t believe in one person one vote. When pressed, he said they had not literally said that, but that they’d expressed they believed in deliberative democracy as opposed to liberal democracy, and Seymour considered that to be the same.

“It’s nice to be here, I’m from the north. I enjoy engaging in these issues.”

He said he didn’t feel any particular pressure personally as debate around his Treaty Principles bill heated up.