Friday, November 25, 2005

Trust battle smells fishy at Waipareira

What have they got to hide out west?

John Tamihere wants to be back on the Waipareira Trust, now his career as a member of parliament is over.

He turned up with a big group of supporters to the trust's annual meeting this week and was voted in, along with six other new members.

The trust's chairwoman, Naida Glavish, said before the meeting that Tamihere would not be allowed back, because the trust had changed its rules to exclude as candidates people who have brought the trust into disrepute. It also reduced the number of board members from 15 to 10.

Faced with Tamihere's taua on the night, Glavish couldn't stop the meeting voting down those provisions. Now board treasurer Ricky Houghton says the new rules will stay, and the board has legal advice backing its actions.

It's risky ground for Glavish, Houghton, chief executive Reg Ratahi and their supporters. Tamihere may have damaged Waipareira's reputation when his attempt at remote control while an MP spectacularly blew up in his face, but he also made its reputation as a competent deliverer of social services, economic development and training to the West Auckland Maori community through the 1990s.

He lives in that community and has an interest in the institutions which will affect his family.

Then there is the question of whether Glavish and co have been prudent managers. Waipareira made a loss last year, and Tamihere claims it has been selling off assets to stay afloat.

There is another reason for Tamihere to want to be on Waipareira. While an MP, he and fellow MP Willie Jackson inserted a provision into the Maori Fisheries Settlement Act creating an ongoing role for something called the National Urban Maori Authority.

Since Jackson's mother's Manukau Urban Maori Authority is mostly smoke and mirrors, and the Wellington and Christchurch urban Maori authorities barely struggle along, NUMA would rely on Waipareira to drive it. And realistically, only Tamihere is capable of making anything of what is a pretty tenuous concept to start with.

NUMA has a say in appointing future fisheries commissioners, and in saying what happens with some of the money from the settlement.

So it's not so much count the numbers, but count the NUMA. Don't expect anyone to back down any time soon.


Blogger t selwyn said...

NUMA - another dodgy Tamihere legacy. He was prepared to bring the whole fisheries deal down just to get his mickey mouse, post office box tribe into the trough. Dirty.

1:55 PM  

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