Trouble in Tainui continues with the King signalling his intentions to take over Te Kauhanganui (Tainui Parliament) and Te Arataura (Tainui Executive). From the Waikato Times:
Discussions to replace the Maori King have ramped up after he announced he wanted to take over Tainui's tribal parliament.
King Tuheitia, also the paramount chief of Waikato-Tainui, told a meeting at Horahora marae, near Rangiriri, on New Year's Day he wanted to take control of the tribe's parliament, Te Kauhanganui (TK), and its executive, Te Arataura (TA). He warned Tainui marae not to attend the next meeting of the tribal parliament, scheduled for February 26.
King Tuheitia also said he wanted to see the back of the Tainui executive's controversial leader Tukoroirangi Morgan, and demanded a new TA.
The Kingitanga sits above TK, but in a ceremonial sense rather than a legal sense. TK is, I believe, an incorporated society with its own rules that prevent the King from removing trustees and, for lack of a better term, commandeering the society. Case in point, when the King removed Tania Martin as Chair of TK the Court found that the King had no legal power to do so. Consequently, Martin was reinstated. TK’s rules state that the Chair can only be removed or instated via a tribal vote. The same rules apply to TA. Therefore, the King cannot remove Tuku Morgan.
I think it’s funny that the King wants to use his ceremonial power to remove Tuku. Last year when the King removed, or tried to remove, Tania Martin, he did so at the request of Tuku Morgan. Tuku obviously believed the King had the legal power, or more probably the mana, to remove her. Now, the shoe is on the other foot and the King is looking to use his authority as Arikinui of Tainui to remove Tuku. I wonder if Tuku will cry foul, even though he tried to have the same thing done almost a year ago.
I don’t think the King is going to be removed, nor do I think the King will do any removing. The tribe is too dysfunctional. TA is delaying the election of a new board and there are accusations of financial cover ups and crony appointments. Last year Tainui stumbled from controversy to controversy. Trouble in Tainui erupted when Tania Martin released a damning report criticising TA. In response, Tuku Morgan lobbied Kingi Tuheitia to remove Tania Martin as Chair of TK. The King subsequently sacked Ms Martin only for the Court to reinstate her. Martin then publicly released an affidavit which was a damning indictment against TA. TA responded in kind with Tuku publicly slagging Tania Martin on Native Affairs. The tit for tat battle continued with the main events been the repeated attempts by TA to block meetings of TK, a police complaint against Tania Martin and, finally, a failed vote to remove Tuku Morgan.
I’m not sure how to the tribe will fix their problems, hell, a clean out of TK and TA might be the right approach. However, this will never happen with the cunning fox Tuku Morgan on one side and the blundering bear Kingi Tuheitia on the other.
Having said that, if anyone has the mana to redirect Tainui it’s Kingi Tuheitia. However, the likes of Morgan and the rest of TA think that they’re above everyone, even the King and TK. TA won’t go down without a fight, and if they do go down they’ll bring the whole house crashing down too. I’m not seeing a clean solution to this. Last year I simplified Tainui's problems down to:
Rotten personalities and toxic tribal politics. Tainui has experienced more than its share of internal political dramas, then again most Iwi have, but Tainui’s problems seem to play out on the national stage. For me this saga speaks to the unnecessary complexity of Iwi post-settlement entities and the self-interest many of the Iwi elite operate with. The Tainui Brown Table is a putrid one, one that needs to be destroyed and remade. Remade with the interests of the people at its core. The problem Te Arataura has is that they operate like a business. They treat their operations like they are a massive corporation and the people like they are expendable and marginal shareholders. In my opinion, the sooner Tuku and his mates are removed the sooner Te Arataura can go back to serving the people.
I think that still stands.