There are some interesting legal and constitutional parallels between the Maori party’s attempts to rid themselves of Hone Harawira and previous unsuccessful attempts in Tainui to have their Kauhanganui chair dismissed for raising awkward questions about use of tribal finances. Tukoroirangi Morgan was a key player in the Tainui ructions; now he has waded into the Harawira affair.
3 News’ Patrick Gower reports:
Tukoroirangi Morgan, the big chief for Tainui, one of the most powerful Maori tribes, .. has been issuing orders to the Maori Party: the Hone Harawira sideshow has got to end. . Mr Morgan is one of Maoridom’s cool commercial heads; he heads the iwi leadership group which represents over 50 tribes and has a direct line to the Prime Minister..It’s clear the iwi leaders want Mr Harawira gone too; although Mr Morgan wouldn’t quite go there.
Tania Martin is the chair of the Tainui Kauhanganui, the tribe’s governing body. Morgan, a supporter of asset sales, is the chair of Te Arataura, the subordinate executive board. Martin tabled a report critical of Te Arataura expenditure, and for her pains was sacked at Morgans’ request by King Tuheitia – his press release is here. Martin filed for an injunction in the High Court against the executive board appealing the sacking, based on the Kauhanganui constitution. The Court directed that the matter should first go back to the Council, and the Council marae voted to retain Tania Martin as chair, 36 to 21 with 7 abstentions. Tania Martin’s report on the proceedings is here. She’s a gutsy woman.
Perhaps the last word belongs to a Dominion editorial: The boss of Tainui should be its people. And the lesson for the Maori party – neither the courts nor the people like heavy treatment by insider so-called leaders.