Sep 26, 2011

Tuku survives another day

Tuku Morgan remains at the helm. From RNZ:

The High Court has ruled that Tukoroirangi Morgan remains the chair of the Waikato-Tainui executive. The head of the parliament, Tania Martin, and Mr Morgan have been at loggerheads - publicly disagreeing about a parliament vote to expel him last month. Mr Morgan has maintained he has not been dropped because the vote was invalid, but Mrs Martin said previously that a sufficient majority of votes had disqualified him.

A few months ago I viewed an opinion from Tuku’s solicitors. The opinion held that an insufficient number of votes were cast to disqualify Tuku. A majority of the 65 Marae had to affirm the motion to disqualify Tuku (meaning the threshold is 33 votes or more), however only 30 Marae affirmed the motion, therefore the motion was not carried.

I have yet to read the judgement, but I assume Tuku’s submissions revolved around this point. I doubt this is the last act in what is becoming an increasingly messy saga. Readers know I think Tuku should step down – or be removed - but I also think his opponents are playing a strange game. In the wake of the vote Tania Martin was going around claiming that Tuku was disqualified. This was, it seems, untrue, and I suspect Ms Martin knew this to be so.

Tainui appears, from the outside, to be in good health. The tribe is beginning to overtake Ngai Tahu as, financially speaking, the largest Iwi and projects like Te Awa and achievements like the Waikato River co-management deal are adding Mana to the tribe. However, if you scratch beneath the surface it doesn’t take long to discover significant discord and disunity. Te Kauhanganui and Te Arataura (TA) are at loggerheads, Tania Martin and Tuku Morgan are engaging in what seems like a personal battle and many of the people are dissatisfied with TA’s management style and the distance between the tribe’s financial success and flaxroot benefits.

For a fascinating read re Tainui affairs I recommend readers take a look at Eraka’s blog.

UPDATE: I notice the problem with words running together on the RSS feed isn't fixed. Sorry. I'm on Closeup tonight at 7 on TV One too. Watch it.  


  1. My Aunty made the very informative analysis of this whole mess last month when she asked me whether it is to much to ask for us (i.e Māori) to learn how to count. As soon as it was revealed that only 30 of the 65 Marae voted to remove Tuku you could see that Ms Martin was fighting a losing battle - it is all about perception. It begs the question, why are we not simply re-running a vote with clear rules and why have Ms Martin and her lawyers not sought a declaratory judgement on the voting provisions of the constitution?

    Are you Tainui btw Morgan? I ask by way of clarification because it is unusual for Māori to take such a position against the leader of another iwi or hapū.

  2. Kia Ora Joshua

    Yes, I whakapapa to Ngati Hikairo at Kawhia. Waipapa is my Tainui Marae.

    I wonder the same thing too, Joshua. that's why I described the battle between Tuku and Tania as "strange". Surely what you put forward was the most obvious and logical next step.

  3. That must make us Tainui cousins then :) My Tainui whanau is Ngāti Māhanga.

    It may be obvious and logical but from what I have witnessed these last 3 years those two characteristics tend to go out the window when ructions emerge within a hapū or iwi.



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