Ngāi Tahu elder calls for the Māori Council to be scrapped
Updated at 9:53 am on 21 October 2013 (Radio New Zealand: News)
A Ngāi Tahu leader says the Māori Council needs tō be allowed tō die a peaceful death, and the Iwi Leaders Forum should take up the role as the main pan-tribal body.
Sir Tīpene O’Regan says the Māori Council was established during a time when the Government had quite a paternal attitude toward Māori, and it is a relic of the past.
He says the Māori Council has served a valuable purpose as a convening entity tō summon tangata whenua to various debates and discussions.
But Sir Tīpene says the Māori Council has gone past its used-by date.
He says the council is an institutional structure and its current format was invented by the National Government in the 1960s as a paternalistic device for exercising bureaucratic control over Māori.
The Ngāi Tahu elder says the make-up of the Iwi Leader’s Forum, with a decent substructure of tribal rūnanga behind it, is infinitely preferable.
He says during his involvement with the council and the litigation against the Crown, the council itself never produced any evidence, and it didn’t provide any affidavits of any substance – it was always a convenor – rather than a driver and a thinker.
Sir Tīpene says the Māori Council shouldn’t really be allowed to hang on to its payment from the Crown, it should be allowed tō die a peaceful death.
Māori Council calls Ngāi Tahu ungrateful
In response, the Māori Council says Sir Tīpene O’Regan is ungrateful about the hand that gave his tribe their largesse.
Council co-chair Mānu Paul says he’s quite surprised Sir Tīpene has made the remarks, given he was instrumental with the council in gaining fishing quota for all iwi, leading to Māori owning close tō 50% of the fishery.
He says all of the benefits that Te Wai Pounamu accrued under the leadership advice of Sir Tīpene O’Regan, were acquired by the Māori Council.
Mr Paul says some Māori leaders need tō realise just where their support has come from, and who was responsible for getting it.
He says the Māori Council has proved that it is needed by taking recent Waitangi Tribunal claims on water and the radio spectrum.
Mr Paul says the Māori Council is the only true pan-tribal entity that spearheads Māori rights.
The legislation that oversees the Māori Council is currently under review by the Government.
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