Maori King warns of dysfunction, tells Pakeha to mind own business

By Yvonne Tahana

King Tuheitia. Photo / Greg Bowker
King Tuheitia. Photo / Greg Bowker

King Tuheitia has again written to Waikato-Tainui members warning them that politically the tribe is on the "brink of calamity" and pointedly telling "Pakeha commentators" to keep out of the tribe's business.

It follows an unprecedented letter sent in November calling for the dumping of a tribal politician and suggested that if he'd had a power to dissolve the tribe's democratic institutions because of the level of tribal dysfunctionality he would have used it three years ago.

Tuku Morgan, who the King is also backing to be the new Kauhanganui or tribal parliamentary leader, told media he would change the constitution to formalise these powers.

Tuheitia does not name left-wing commentator Chris Trotter, who recently blogged that more and more it seemed like the late Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu (a "Lioness") had "whelped an Ass".

But in the latest letter, Tuheitia talks of the support and encouragement he's had for his position and of the ugliness of blogs - although he doesn't name sites.

"The language I have been forced to endure from those people who would like me to stand by while they hold this tribe to ransom is despicable. Their deliberate attempts to twist and misrepresent my words, and their use of false names and anonymous websites to hurl abuse at me ... is clearly a sign of how bad things have broken down and are in need of repair.

"Now we are turning on ourselves going porangi [crazy] as [Princess] Te Puea warned all those years ago."

"Now we have Pakeha commentators weighing in, once again, on what is, I say respectfully, none of their business."

Pakeha butting out is a theme emerging from the office even though the man who writes media releases for the King's Office, Kirk MacGibbon, describes himself as Pakeha.

This week, Mr MacGibbon refused to pass on questions to Tuheitia from the Herald about an aide, Rangi Wallace, who lost his firearms licence as the result of a domestic incident, because "the King answers to his people, not to a Pakeha-owned media outlet".

Tuheitia's latest letter ends by putting things into an international perspective.

"Lately I have witnessed some strange and curious signs. Yesterday I had the Israeli Ambassador at my office seeking my assistance and endorsement of the Worlds [sic] Bible, which is intended to be translated into every language of the world. What I heard from him was the despair of the conflict currently surging around that small country and its people. Death is everywhere. While we wrestle with affairs of deep and lasting importance for our futures, it is worth stopping to give some thought and prayers to those whose futures are far less certain."

- NZ Herald

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