Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Jackson sues over Maori board selection

Willie Jackson is challenging the selection process of a council Maori advisory group. Photo / APN
Willie Jackson is challenging the selection process of a council Maori advisory group. Photo / APN

Broadcaster Willie Jackson is taking legal action after failing to secure one of two urban Maori positions on the Independent Maori Statutory Board, which provides advice to Auckland Council on Maori issues.

Last August, a selection body appointed Waipareira Trust chief executive John Tamihere and Papakura Marae chief executive Tony Kake from eight candidates to the two mataawaka (urban Maori) positions on the board for the second term of the Auckland Council.

Mr Tamihere served in the first term of the council on the board, whose members are paid about $53,000 a year.

The body also made seven mana whenua appointments to the nine-person board, whose unelected members sit on council committees with voting rights.

In a statement of claim filed in the High Court at Auckland, Mr Jackson's lawyer, Te Kani Williams, challenged the process of the selection body, particularly the requirement "to take into account the views of mataawaka when choosing the representatives".

Mr Williams said Mr Jackson produced nine documents from mataawaka backing his nomination whereas Mr Kake produced no supporting documents.

Mr Jackson's supporters included several marae, one of which was Papakura Marae, and the Maori Council and the Mormon and Destiny churches.

The statement of claim also questioned the closed voting process.

Mr Jackson is asking the court to rule Mr Kake's appointment invalid. He wants the selection body to reconsider or for Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to make a new appointment.

Mr Jackson could not be reached for comment yesterday. Mr Kake said he was one of four respondents, the others being the selection body, Maori Statutory Board and Dr Sharples.

The selection was made three months before Mr Jackson and Mr Tamihere were taken off air by RadioLive after a controversial interview with a teenage girl.

- NZ Herald

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