Tainui reaffirms Morgan's leadership after bid fails

By Yvonne Tahana

Tuku Morgan. Photo / APN
Tuku Morgan. Photo / APN

A Tainui board has backed Tuku Morgan's leadership after a wider tribal parliamentary vote at the weekend threatened to end it.

On Saturday Mr Morgan faced a vote to remove him from chairing Te Arataura, the tribe's executive board, based on misconduct allegations.

To be successful it required 50 per cent of 65 marae attending the tribe's half-yearly Te Kauhanganui or parliamentary meeting on Saturday to vote to remove him.

Thirty marae voted to remove Mr Morgan, 27 voted in support, two abstained and six cast invalid votes.

Mr Morgan said the maths for him to keep his job was easily done. He'd tallied it up on Saturday as he was told in the meeting that he'd failed to keep his job.

"The maths is clear. Half of 65 isn't 30."

In a statement Te Arataura's acting chairwoman Patience Te Ao said the board sought legal advice on the issue.

"Te Arataura took independent legal advice which confirmed its interpretation of the rules, and a resolution passed to reaffirm Mr Morgan as chair."

Mr Morgan told the Herald the board also voted on the matter but he refused to say what his support level was from the 11-member board.

The resolution was put together by Te Kauhanganui's chairman Tania Martin who ironically last year survived an unsuccessful bid by King Tuheitia to have her removed.

Asked if he felt embarrassed by the close vote, Mr Morgan said he accepted that he had a lot of work to do to convince tribal members he was acting in their best interests. He also had to listen to their concerns.

"I don't think it's embarrassing. I think that in any democracy people have the right to change their minds.

"Clearly, I am humbled by that stark reminder. I've got to work in a much more extensive and compelling way."

Whether this is the end of the matter is unclear. Historically, Hamilton's High Court is where internal political issues end up and there is no love lost between Mrs Martin and Mr Morgan.

"I can work with anyone, the question is can she work with me," Mr Morgan said.

Mrs Martin was not contactable last night for comment.

Previous Te Kauhanganui chairman Tom Roa said the vote solved nothing and instability was likely to continue.

- NZ Herald

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