A former head of the Waikato-Tainui executive who plans to stand for the role of the tribe's parliament chair says he wants to change the way the tribe is governed so the Maori King has the final say over tribal decisions…
Mr Morgan says if he's elected he'll work towards making changes to the tribe's constitution.
He says members must never be able to go to court with tribal issues, and Kingi Tuheitia should be given the right to veto or dissolve a tribal parliament.
Gifting the King the power to dissolve tribal parliaments will not solve the political and structural problems in Tainui. At most, inserting the Kingitanga as the ultimate decision maker will only change the way tribal politics is played. So, rather than engage in legal plays**, ambitious tribal politicians will jostle for standing in the Kingitanga. Lobbying, not law, will be du jour.
As for the structural issues, elevating the Kingitanga will further complicate what is already an unnecessarily complex iwi structure. At the moment the King sits at the top of the line as the ceremonial head, Te Kauhanganui (TK) stands below as the decision making body, Te Arataura (TA) is lower still as the day to day manager and groups like Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) make up the base. It’s a loose Westminster model where the Kingitanga is analogous to the monarchy, TK to Parliament, TA to the Cabinet and TGH and others are analogous to arms of the executive. Under Tuku’s proposal the structure would not change, other than to take ultimate power away from TK and transfer it to the Kingitanga.
Well, under either model, the structure doesn't fit with the “fundamental principles (that) have emerged over the years as being relevant for most iwi in their structures”. These principles are:
- the need to establish a structure where the individual iwi members have ultimate control;
- the legal capacity and powers of the structure are certain; and
- ownership and management functions are kept separate, as are commercial and non-commercial objectives.
Here are the problems: 1) Under Tuku’s model, the King could dissolve TK and override the will of the individual iwi members. Even then, it’s arguable that individual iwi members do not even have ultimate control over TK and Tainui decision making as it is. TK is not elected on an at large basis. Each Marae puts forward three members to sit on TK, yet those members are not elected on an at large basis either. Arguably, this is not a purely democratic model where “individual iwi members have ultimate control” 2) the legal powers of each body are not certain. A number of tribal politicians, including Tuku Morgan, have taken to the Courts to test the limits of their power and the power of their opponents. Given the hazy rules, a culture of litigation has developed in the tribe. From the beginning of the 2010 financial year through to 2012 Chapman Tripp collected over $1m in legal fees, Bell Gully collected almost $300,000 (including the 2009 financial year). Over four other firms cashed in as well 3) ownership (TK) and management (TA) are kept separate under both models. At least that’s one run out of three.
The troubles in Tainui are not tidy and while I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, I’m sure the answer is not to reduce democracy in favour of feudalism. Structural reform is the key, but that reform must be on democratic terms. Regardless of what you think of Tuku Morgan, Tania Martin or Kingi Tuheitia, I think everyone can agree on that.
*In a extraordinary letter to Tainui tribal members the King called on leaders in TK and TA to reaffirm their "mandate" and endorsed Tuku Morgan in his bid for the chairmanship of TK.
**The Court has the final say over the interpretation and application of the rules that govern Tainui. As a result much of the political games that go on in Tainui are, essentially, legal games. Opposing parties merely attempt to strengthen their legal positions rather than cooperate, compromise and so on.
I agree Feudalism is a step backward –but their needs to be some sort of Unity amongst Iwi Can the Kingitanga movement provide that sort of Platform. whats your opinionReplyDelete
Yeah, the Kingitanga can provide a platform for unity. The most recent example was the King's water hui. However, the King having powers of veto will not, in any way I can see at least, help the movement foster unity. I think the King needs to remember that the Kingitanga isn't a cheap imitation of European models. That is it isn't an expression of power or sovereignty. It's, as you mention, about unity. Tuheitia and his followers (Tuku and co.) can lose sight of this.ReplyDelete
Royalty should never interfere with daily Policy and decision making just uphold and preserve Democracy similar to QE2Delete
Can Tainui/Waikato's King foster unity when some of his past behaviours have run contrary to unity? Or is it a case of do as I say, and not as I do?Delete
Time to either roll the King or give the Kingitanga to another iwi.ReplyDelete
It is not for me to say how Maori should run their affairs but we (wearing my UK hat today) made sure Kings learnt that a veto was unhelpful some time agoReplyDelete
Yep, agree, and it could very well come to that. It looks like the original intentions have strayed a tad. (BIG HUGE tad!)Delete
Your analysis is superficial and not all that helpful. 'Democracy' can take many forms and does not have to conform to your 'at large' model to qualify. Essentially Waikato-Tainui is a Marae-based parliamentary model, where each Marae elects their kaumaatua, Marae and rangatahi members according to their tikanga and on an 'at large' basis - in that a hui is held where all members of that Marae come together to vote for their representatives. Fairly democratic I would have thought? There is clear separation between the commercial and social arms of the tribe (implemented in 2001). What has happened is that a small determined group of people (with its core being the same group of people who took Te Arikinui to court in 2000)have spent the past four years seeking to undermine the rightfully elected leadership and, incredibly, are now back in positions of power. Tania Martin, having been in league with these same people for the past three years has now been thrown to the wolves herself - you live by the sword, you die by the sword. The previous Te Arataura refused to pay many of the claims submitted by the Chair of Te Kauhanganui in the last term. One of the first acts of the current Te Arataura - apart from cutting the Poukai grants to Marae (apparently now reinstated) was to authorise the payment of approx $140,000 to Tania Martin - payment for her 'good work' I suppose. A final point: The power to dissolve Parliament is one of the 'reserve powers' of our own Governor General. That power has never been used in New Zealand, but students of politics will remember Goff Whitlam was 'sacked' by his Governor-General in Australia. The point is that just because someone has powers does not mean they will necessarily use them. Often the threat is enough. Waikato-Tainui is virtually leaderless at the moment. Nothing is being done, we have lost much credibility in the eyes of Iwi around the motu. Why not provide the King with the constitutional power to dissolve Parliament and start again? Having been elected on to Te Arataura to do a job, and failing spectacularly at that, a sensible course would be to give the people, through Te Kauhanganui, the chance to rethink just what qualities are needed to get the tribe through this current crisis.ReplyDelete
"'Democracy' can take many forms and does not have to conform to your 'at large' model to qualify"Delete
Yes, and I acknowledge that. However, what is democratic about transferring power to an unelected monarch? Answer: nothing.
I know how representatives to TK are elected and I didn't call the system undemocratic. I said it was not a purely democratic model, in that every iwi member does not have equal voting power. For example, iwi members that cannot attend their Marae hui will not have any say in electing their representative.
It's a false analogy, I think, to compare Tuku's proposal to the GG's reserve powers - those powers are ceremonial. Power, of course, is not awarded unless it is intended to be used... and why should we trust an unelected monarch with the ultimate power over Waikato-Tainui? Why not give him the power to trigger a referendum and let the people decide whether TK should be dissolved?
As a strong supporter, yet open (constructive) critic, of the Kingitanga, I absolutely tautoko the comments of 'Anonymous'.Delete
Many people don't realise the Kingitanga is more than just a political entity. It's a part of our identity, as Waikato. It's inseparable of who we are.
I agree that governance needs to be accountable to the people, but I don't see that as being threatened by giving the Kingitanga (which, I assume you're referring to Kahui Ariki, as opposed to the entire movement) extra power. The Kahui Ariki have always had the peoples' interests at heart and it's a shame that many who are not accustomed to accountable leaders only see democratic-constituted authority as the only way forward.
Up until the imposition of the existing governance system following the Waikato-Tainui settlement, Waikato were largely politically stable. It's the traditional Western approach to representative politics that have constantly created conflict within our iwi. Going 'backward' thus seems to be an appropriate response, as is being currently determined.
I do like some of the points you've raised, Morgan. And I like that at least your opinions aren't ignorant. I just think you need to kind of see it from the perspective of those who are actually affected as well - Waikato-Tainui. Anwyway, sorry for the rant/novel.
@ anon 12:43: this person needs a reality check. Tuheitia Paki is not a monarch. He is just a citizen of this country. That is all. He has NO statutory power or status. He is purportedly the head of a movement. That is all. For @anon to argue he is a 'monarch' shows an ignorance which is mind-boggling.ReplyDelete
'Why not provide the King with the constitutional power to dissolve Parliament and start again?'
@anon needs to read the incorporated societies act 1908 - it is the law from under which the 2011 rules (which were being changed in secret by tom roa & hemi rau) are written.
Morgan's desire to provide Paki with power of veto for this & for that & how to spend the money that is left (remember Paki has been paid almost $12m into his private charitable trust since 2006) is not only incredibly naive it simply would not wash or be accepted. Morgan argues no matter can be taken to court - (he can talk - look what he did to Mrs Martin).
Mrs Martin got paid $140k because that is what she was entitled to. Te Arataura [TAA] has not paid her for 5 months this year. TAA (under tuku morgan) refused to pay her fees & expenses for 7 months even though TKI approved the payments on three separate meetings. And TAA only paid a $900,000.00 invoice that had been outstanding for over 9 months. Last term TAA was irresponsible, refused to be accountable, or transparent, or honest, or fair or even principled - in a word – it was power mad & money crazy. The 2012 intake is now acting like TAA of 2009-2012.
The current structure is not working because of the greed of people. Giving Paki power of veto over money & decisions & not be accountable or auditable would be madness in the extreme.
However it is the banks that will take TKI & TGH out given the debt run up by previous unskilled TAA members agreeing to all kinds of reckless debt with three banks.
Why else is TGH now asking TKI to lend it $70 million – simply because the banks will not do it. Oh BTW the $70m TGH has got its eye on - is government money intended for the Waikato River Trust. In other words it is ring-fenced & simply cannot be used to prop up a commercial company that does not know when to stop spending OPM. And unfortunately the current TAA has agreed in principle to this. And in closing Venning J's September decision found the actions & decisions of both the CE of the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust & TAA in breach of the 2011 Rules and were therefore unlawful. Just like Tuheitia Paki's dreams of absolute power & control.
TAA are seemingly sailing along in the sunshine oblivious to the fact that their actions are also causing huge alarm bells to ring because they believe they have the right to make decisions (arbitrary) for the 60,000 plus registered members. And that is not its role.
Thank God that youre there to highlight the issues. Agree in principle with all that you say. WikitoriaDelete
Wow! Current structure not working because of the greed of the people! Ae, tautoko, same old, same old, just different people, different scenes.Delete
It might be interesting, Morgan, but it is also largely incorrect. I begin with a quote from Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu in 2000: It is not the end of the world to lose money. It is not cashflow that makes us truly rich but the depth of our contentment and peace we find in the life each of us chooses to lead. However, it is the end when one loses oneself in the abyss and takes down with them all efforts and sacrifices of tuupuna." Waikato-Tainui is in the abyss, not economically, but politically. The people who took Te Arikinui to court are back in power and it is these same people who have been fueling discontent, spreading misinformation, and undermining the Kiingitanga, while professing to uphold its principles. The $70m Chris Webster talks of is the relativity payment being paid to Waikato-Tainui and Ngai Tahu under the terms of their Deeds of Settlement. It was negotiated as part of the 1995 Raupatu LANDS Settlement. What the tribe chooses to do with it, is not for anyone outside the tribe to dictate. And TGH is not begging for money and it is financially sound - its debt to equity ratio is around 28 per cent. Hardly crisis mode! And finally, I have to disagree with you on the reserve powers of the GG. They are not 'ceremonial'. They just haven't been used. I think you reveal much when you ask why should we 'trust an unelected monarch.' First, trust is key and there is precious little of it in Maaoridom in general- it seems we are all prepared to believe the worst of everybody. Secondly, he is not unelected. He was raised up by the rangitira of the motu in 2006 - by vote! However, I do like your idea about the power to trigger a referendum on significant constitutional or governance issues. What I think all of us could probably agree on is that constitutional reform, not review, is badly needed. I'll end with another quote from Te Arikinui: "Waikato may have to change its structures several times and it is alright to do so as long as we eventually get it right. It would be very foolish to uphold a structure that is not working."ReplyDelete
Hey Anon, TGH might have a cushy debt figure. But the cashflow is where they are being screwed. How will they pay their phone bill or their power bill if theyres no money coming in???Delete
We have many problems in the tribal political world and not just in Waikato.ReplyDelete
However turning to ourselves, the original structure was created with positive intentions but it dos not work. Three reps per marae is impractical, costly and inefficient. Anything that works well is invariably copied by others. Has anyone else copied this dopey three rep model? Wonder why not? Maybe because it's stupid? Just look at the history of the power struggles from Robert Mahuta to Kingi Porima to Tuku Morgan to Hemi Rau to Tuku again and now Tania Martin and back to Tuku with Tom Roa an others lurking in the background and rising up from time to time to try and find solutions. They're either school teachers or manual work people. No commercial or political experience worth speaking of. What did Bernard Shaw say, those who can do, those who can't, teach?
Another problem is that the egos of the key players know no bounds or reason. Many have egos and perceptions of themselves not matched by their abilities and resumes. If they are so good and would foot it in the commercial and political world, why are they not there? It's because they aren't. They need to keep sucking at the tit of government, tribal or local or central. It's also because they are straw men, and mostly men. If they do get appointed to commercial bodies it's as political favour and/or thy are the token black face, not because of expertise - just ask Whai Dewes, the most successful Maori mediocrity ever. Do any of them actually have real world commercial expertise that would survive independent scrutiny? I doubt it. Sucking money out of government for broadcasting or fisheries is not my idea of commercial acumen - remember the first Maori TV service? Remember Tuku in Parliament? Remember Mauri Pacific or the wasted money tv show "Hawaiki"? What about Paul Morgan and Wayne Mulligan and the FOMANA rip off? They should be in jail. How about the Dorchester Finance cases against CNI land trusts for millions and the bail out by Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust? Or Paul Morgan and co wasting $12 million of mussel farms for three land trusts. All down th gurgler. Then Ta (As in ta, thanks for your cash stupid Maoris) Ngatata and the scam his paramour is running in Wellington, the Skivington low life. More to come on that front.
Some of the women aren't much better, Donna Hall, Donna Awatere, both crooks. Margaret Mutu bit more integrity but mad as a hatter. Good n Mangu Awarua in his latest letter to Mutu sidekick Gloria Herbet. Gee another schmuck. And be ware of bills frm Tracey Houpapa too e hoa ma, just ask Tataraakina Trust. 100 grand for sweet FA and they are her own! Kia ora. At least she is climbing and sleeping up the ladder.
This is another problem with our so called leaders. They love sucking up to tauiwi, being "the man" looking like high rollers with the peoples' money, kissing the behinds of white power and trying to make bullish noises about standing up for Maori. They are the poor imitation black white power. Bob called them baldheads, well we have black as well as white ones. Pathetic. Hone and co are no better. Talk about sell outs - desperate to be a cabinet minister under National! I know who I believe out of Ururoa and Hone and it aint the latter. He was also keen on broadcasting money himself until his nephew ripped of Te Hiku o te Ika. Weird how that's been hushed up too.
Back to the kaupapa, giving the "king" - and truly whanau, that word is a joke here - Arikinui is fine, but not king. More like Joker or Jack, as in Ass. No style, no dignity, illiterate and none too bright let's face it. Giving him power to dissolve TK is daft. He's just a man. His conduct to date has been buffoonery. Did any Maori truly believe there would be a united position on water? Anyone who did needs to be medicated. Forcibly.
Happy days whanau.
Ae, the quality of many Maori 'leaders' is piss poor at the moment.Delete
To end the claims that my figures are wrong or incorrect the actual TGH balances & debts & deed of set-off for $70m (whic BTW is in the WRLT bank account but earmarked as it is money from the government for the Waikato river trust) will be posted on my blog tomorrow.Delete
The reference that TGH is eying the $70-+m due is incorrect. This money (from the 1995 relativity negotiations) will not be paid until 2013-2014 year as it has to be agreed for appropriation by the crown in the budget.
It too is NOT available for anyone individual & especially to bail out TGH - yet again. Been there - done that.
That is an amazing piece of information. Whoo hoo! Said it like it should be said. Pity you have to stay anonymous, but you'd probably be stoned in the streets by some...Delete
From the 2012 Annual Report (at waikatotainui.com): Revenue $56.9m, net profit $34.6m, dividend paid to TKI $11mReplyDelete
Westpac credit line: $75m - $26m drawn down at balance date;
BNZ Cash advances A: $70m - $46m drawn down.
BNZ Cash advances B: $50m - $26m drawn down.
I don't think you need to worry about the phone bill, or the power bill for that matter...!
Holy Shit!!! Revealing information.Delete
There is a lot of truth in your korero, anon. Finding governance structures that work to support, rather than thwart, tribal aspirations is key and there are alternative models to choose from if there is the will to seek them out. The issue is that those people you mention are the ones who have been prepared to put themselves forward and, given the brutal nature of tribal politics generally, it takes a pretty brave person to enter that world. There are a number of educated (in maatauranga Maaori and the Pakeha system) people out there but they can earn more, feel better and achieve their goals outside the tribe. i agree with you about Te Kauhanganui - take the kaumaatua out of it, resurrect Nga Marae o Toopu to rule on issues of tikanga in the House and govern by resolution passed by majority in the House. The CE and management then give effect to those resolutions. There is theoretically at least no need for a 'board' or executive committee, given that all commercial decisions are made by the independent board of Tainui Group Holdings.ReplyDelete
Just read eraka.blog. Tania Martin is not out of the fold. It looks like her marae has convinced her to hang in there and other marae are joining her marae to take the kangaroo court decision to remove her to the high court. I'm not even a tribal member but I believe that Tania is the only one that can take out the king and his despot Tuku Morgan. She has done it before and will do it again. Props to her. Any ordinary person would have walked away long ago. Tell me Tainui, who is really standing up for the people? If you see a white English face in the crowd of support behind Tania Martin, it will be mine.ReplyDelete
Ho man those guys on eraka.blog are going crazy at the moment. and tuheitia just sent out another of lettersDelete
BIG ups to Tania Martin, to have the balls to do her job, truly, most people would have walked away rather than stay and be condemned.Delete
Listened to Tom Roa on the radio this morning. That guy is stuck in his own world. He is claiming that TKI will no longer be going to court. I downloaded the restructure docs from erakablog. It was alright for Tom Roa to go to court in 2008 to stop an injustice. I am Tania Martin's cousin and we are demanding she go to court for the same reason he did. Dying to see how Tom Roa will defend this injustice. Hiona Marae will not rest until the cousin is clear and Tom Roa is made to pay for the injustices he has imposed on our cousin and on our marae. I don't know how Tom Roa sleeps at night. He is already looking really sick.ReplyDelete