On 28 May the Council filed our closing submissions for our claim to the Waitangi Tribunal regarding the reform of the Māori Community Development Act. The submissions include the following quote from the Hon Sir Eruera Tirikatene in 1961, as relevant now as it was over 50 years ago!
“I know that the Māori Social and Economic Advancement Act 1945 was set up to allow matters to be referred from the tribal executive through the right channels to Cabinet, and that such matters should not be dealt with by any Government Department. Cabinet should decide the correct solution of the problems of Māori people. I object to the district council being loaded with departmental officers. The Māori people should decide, and I do not think that departmental officers should be at conferences unless requested to give advice or assistance. Whether or not the people make mistakes, that is their business, and it will be for those in authority to say whether or not a particular move will work. The Māori people should be given an opportunity of examining their own problems and difficulties and themselves referring it to Cabinet for consideration. This is what I intended in constructing the Māori Social and Economic Advancement Act 1945.”
The Waitangi Tribunal has advised that they expect to issue their report on the claim in four to five months – ie October or November this year.
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