Friday, March 03, 2006

Iwi leaders in secret Love fest

As the coffers of iwi organisations fill with millions of dollars in fisheries and land settlement assets, they should be thinking of how to be accountable to and communicate with beneficiaries.

Instead, these wannabe rangatira choose secrecy and exclusion. Alarm bells should be ringing.

Invited runanga leaders are meeting at Wellington’s Pipitea Marae for a three day hui to, in the words of organiser Peter Love from Te Atiawa, "discuss the future of Maoridom".

The media was excluded from proceedings, which included a presentation from Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.

Considering that Horomia is a public servant, public scrutiny of his statements would seem to be a given. The minister should have insisted his speech was open to the media, though he did express his concerns after. "Maori leadership need to ensure it maintains transparency," he said. Kia ora.

Also excluded were urban Maori organisations.

Willie Jackson, chairman of the National Urban Maori Authority, said that was ignorant and insulting.

Also very very stupid.

If these people start holding secret meetings, people will start questioning their mandates. And Love should know how messy that can be.

Love’s constant assertions of his personal rangatiratanga have convinced few over the years, not even his own family,

So what is this hui? Is it an attempt to revive the National Maori Congress, which faded because it could not define a legitimate role for itself? Is it an attempt to create a rival to the Federation of Maori Authorities? Is it a bunch of people trying to make themselves out to be important?

Love said urban Maori authorities were not invited because they were not a traditional Maori group. Maybe not, but neither are the trusts and runanga – they are artificial creations. Or to put it another way, what concerns may these “traditional” groups have to raise which would not also be of concern to urban Maori authorities? While urban Maori authorities may not have an immediate interest in changes to the Resource Management Act (although their members may be as individuals), urban authorities are likely to be in the thick of any Maori response to a bird flu pandemic, as is also on the hui agenda.

These tribal leaders are going to regret this when they go back home. Their members are suspicious enough that deals are cut in secret without fuelling their fears.


Blogger Kamiria said...

At last someone is voicing what many kuia know already. This is the "old boys club" in action. All the decision making within Runanga, Wellington Tenths and Port Nicholson block claim is done by a small group of about ten people then their decisions are aired at our AGM annually for us the beneficiaries to rubber stamp even though we have not been part of the decision making process. If you try to fight their system you will be sidelined and labelled a trouble-maker [I know because I am one who has been labelled as such] Runanga, Wellington Tenths and Port Nicholson Block Claim have been setup by government so they don't have to deal with ALL Maori, our colonised cousins have bought this rubbish. Wellington Tenths and Port Nicholson Block are not an iwi! Everything they control should be returned to the iwi their beneficiaries come from. Power for decisions should be given back to Marae Komiti throughout the motu, with all our people participating in the process. Until this happens we will continue to be ruled by a few dictators who think they know what is best for us. Our people learnt well from the business round table. The Brown Table is alive and well in Maoridom. An even balance of kuia and koroua who advise at iwi level would go a long way to stop the control our "old boys club' currently has. Give the power back to our marae, do away with all runanga and other government inspired organisations.

10:13 AM  

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