Tuku Morgan: Tribal board meeting 'unconstitutional'

By Yvonne Tahana

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

Tainui politician Tuku Morgan says an incoming tribal board meeting for the first time today is unconstitutional until his own precarious position is sorted out.

After marathon elections last Sunday which lasted more than 12 hours, Mr Morgan and another tribal member Huhana Marshall failed to pass an electoral threshold at the tribe's parliament Te Kauhanganui.

If either had won they'd today be the 10th member of the iwi's 11 member executive board Te Arataura.

The 11th member is King Tuheitia's to appoint.

That board is scheduled to meet now at Hopuhopu.

However, in a statement Mr Morgan said the meeting is unconstitutional as a tribal rule states that Te Arataura consists of 11 members and he would go to court to enforce it.

"It does not say 'should be 11 members' or '11 members if possible', or '11 members except when it's late and TKN [Te Kauhanganui] reps want to go home."

Mr Morgan said that meant the old board - of which he is the chairman - remains in place until a special meeting is held in March.

"It is unfortunate that members of the new board appear to have been blinded by their ambition. Their haste to secure their prizes is unseemly and embarrassing. It hardly fills one with confidence that the divisions of the recent past will be healed."

The first point of business for the new board is to elect new leaders.

The Herald understands Hemi Rau, a former tribal executive fired for leaking information to the media, has been lobbying for the position with Tipa Mahuta - Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta's sister - as a co-chair.

It is unclear if the pair have the numbers.

Mr Rau said the meeting would go ahead.

"To be honest, people need to get over themselves. We were put there for a purpose...we need to move forward together as Te Arataura."

He would not be drawn on whether he wanted the top job saying it was a decision for the board.

- NZ Herald

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