Morgan on warpath over near expulsion from executive

By Yvonne Tahana

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

Tuku Morgan has accused a tribal leader of misleading the Tainui parliament after disputed elections which nearly saw him expelled from the tribe's executive.

Mr Morgan wrote to representatives for 65 marae belonging to Te Kauhanganui, which met yesterday, attaching an affidavit from a scrutineer who oversaw a tribal vote to oust him.

The vote was brought by parliamentary chairwoman Tania Martin on the basis that Mr Morgan had brought the institution into disrepute.

Results released at the August 6 vote revealed 30 voted to remove Mr Morgan, 27 voted in support, two abstained and six cast invalid votes.

To be successful the motion needed 50 per cent of 65 marae attending to vote him out.

Mr Morgan said because the vote didn't reach the required threshold he was still a member of the parliament and tribal executive Te Arataura.

In his letter to members who met yesterday Mr Morgan said verbatim minutes record that on two occasions during the hui Ms Martin told members that scrutineers had ratified the votes as carrying the motion to get rid of him.

But that was not the case, Mr Morgan said.

A sworn affidavit from Shirley Ann Boyde, a Huntly JP, who acted as a scrutineer, said while she saw it as her job to count the votes it wasn't her role to apply any rules.

On the official results form, Ms Boyde said she and another scrutineer noted there was provision to indicate the outcome. However, both left this section incomplete.

After the vote, Ms Boyde said she was asked by Ms Martin about whether she considered the results had met the 50 per cent threshold. Ms Boyde replied "yes".

"At the time I recall being surprised that I was being asked to interpret the results ...

"I did not consider it my role to interpret the vote or the rules of the Kauhanganui; nor did I see it was my role to rule on any question affecting the validity of the vote," Ms Boyde said.

In his letter Mr Morgan said Ms Martin's reliance on the scrutineers was improper. "Te Kauhanganui accepted this advice without the knowledge that Mrs Martin had deliberately misled the tribal parliament as the scrutineers did not in fact ratify the motion as carried."

Mr Morgan said he had given an undertaking to Ms Martin not to comment to the media yesterday.

Ms Martin did not respond to Herald calls.

But in a statement sent out on Friday she said she would allow Mr Morgan to attend and vote in Te Kauhanganui meetings until the dispute was resolved.

- NZ Herald

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