Axe iwi parliament, says king's man

By Yvonne Tahana

Tuheitia's representative claims 'change inevitable' and an options paper is being prepared for a new structure.

Change has to happen, says Tuku Morgan. Photo / Christine Cornege
Change has to happen, says Tuku Morgan. Photo / Christine Cornege

Tuku Morgan says a plan to scrap Waikato-Tainui's tribal parliament and its executive board has to pass through the institutions that he wants put to bed.

The tribe's 198-member parliament represents 66 marae. Every three years the parliament elects 10 members to its executive board, Te Arataura, with one appointed by King Tuheitia. Mr Morgan was appointed as the king's representative in December.

"Change has to happen and change is inevitable," Mr Morgan said.

As far as post-Treaty settlement tribal institutions go, Waikato-Tainui's two make the most significant stab at democratic representation nationwide, but the tribe has found itself mired in legal action.

Mr Morgan said a hui called by the king this week resolved "unanimously" for a working party to prepare an options paper for a new structure that would be finished by June.

A former Fonterra boss has further complicated the political situation.

Sir Henry van der Heyden, chairman of Tainui Group Holdings, called for the radical governance shake-up at that hui and Radio Waatea reported him calling for $70 million of new cash received in December by the tribe to go directly to TGH. It makes him the most outspoken TGH chairman.

Asked if the proposed working party would have to be voted on by Te Kauhanganui before it could go ahead with any work, Mr Morgan said the parliament would vote on the resolutions at a meeting on February 18.

He suggested there was good support from the tribe for the resolutions.

Te Kauhanganui

Tribal parliament: 66 marae each represented by 3 members.

Te Arataura: Ten elected members from Te Kauhanganui, one appointed by King Tuheitia.

- NZ Herald

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