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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tainui restructures management

Wholesale changes, not tinkering with the edges... that's how Tukoroirangi Morgan describes plans for restructuring of Waikato-Tainui's boards.

The chair of Te Arataura, the tribe's executive board, says it is managing around $600 million of assets for the benefit of the tribe's 51,000 members

He says the existing structure is 13 years old and needs to be streamlined... stressing the move is not about personal rivalries.

“This is about trying to leverage various business practices. The cream of the tribe’s talent and various contacts to drive social and cultural initiatives. This is the natural evolution of our iwi, Waikato-Tainui. We’ve grown up. We have huge capacity now and we’re at the next phase. We’re past post-settlement phase. We need to combine our resources while retaining the core focus to achieve the best for our people so when people say to me this is personality driven, absolutely nonsense,” Mr Morgan says.

The structural changes are in line with the tribes strategic plan... Te Whakatupuranga 2050... which was supported by 84 percent of the tribe's parliament... the Kauhanganui.


Labour leader Phil Goff says Maori will be particularly hard hit by the government's "hidden agenda" to put a freeze on any new State houses.

Phil Goff says there is a disproportionate proportion of Maori people in inadequate housing who need the assistance of Housing New Zealand.

He says a freeze on new state houses announced yesterday by Housing Minister Phil Heatley is part of an agenda that was not revealed during the election campaign

“It just seems to me really dumb, when Mr Heatley himself spent all year criticizing the waiting lists for state houses, that they’ve now frozen the acquisition and construction of state houses when we desperately need to house people and families and particularly kids, because it is kids who are most affected, and at the same time we’ve got unutilised resources in the construction industry with the slow down in the building sector,” Mr Goff says.

He says the under-utilised capacity should be used to employ people and get families and children into decent homes.


The trust set up to eliminate Maori Child Abuse is hitting the road this week.

Anton Blank from Te Kahui Mana Ririki says the message they're getting from iwi is that parents need non-violent ways to deal with their tamariki.

“We are working with iwi to look at family violence prevention strategies but we are focusing specifically on non-violent parenting so looking at parenting without hitting, and we’ve had some preliminary discussions with iwi and what we’ve found so far is that the repeal of Section 59 and the impact that has on families is still the major issue and our whanau don’t know how to parent without hitting, so we’re taking that message out,” Mr Blank says.

The trust will begin with sessions in Rangitukia on the East Coast before moving to Hastings to work with Ngati Kahungunu.


Waikato Tainui will not be immune to the impact of the global credit crunch so the chair of the tribe's executive says it's timely that the tribe is reorganising itself.

Tukoroirangi Morgan says they're consolidating and streamlining the various separate entities, getting rid of six positions but creating ten new ones which will oversee all aspects of the iwi's activities, commercial, social and cultural.

He says the changes are in line with the tribe’s strategic plan, Te Whakatupuranga 2050, which was supported by 84 percent of the tribe's parliament, the Kauhanganui.

Mr Morgan says it's not about the people... they're all being encouraged to apply for the new roles... but the existing structures need a total overhaul.

“This is not tinkering on the sides here. This is a wholesale change because wholesale change has to come as a result of the river settlement. We didn’t have a river settlement 13 years ago. We had a land settlement. So this structure is 13 years old. It’s not adept, it’s not adroit, it’s not skilful to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” he says.

The iwi manages around $600 million worth of assets on behalf of 51,000 tribal members.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the opposition will be closely scrutinizing any changes to the Resource Management Act to ensure that the Treaty process is not affected.

He says one of the huge achievements of the last government was moving the treaty settlement programme forward and he would be concerned if the process slowed.

“It may be a case the settlement process then is damaged by a new Resource Management Act that doesn’t give a fair say, both to tangata whenua and to other New Zealanders in terms of developments that may be undertaken,” Mr Goff says.


Former assistant Police Commissioner Clint Rickards says the support he has received from Maori kept him going when he faced rape charges of which he was found not guilty.

Clint Rickards says the support he has received from Tainui has been unequivocal throughout his whole career but was particularly welcome during the last four or five years as he went through the courts.

“When you are down as low as you can go, to hear the comforting words of support from some of our kaumatua and kuia, it lights a fire inside you just to keep on fighting the fight. Our tupuna did that 150, 200 years ago and it just rekindles that fire inside you to fight that fight, especially when you’re right,” Mr Rickards says.

The newly-registered lawyer says he appreciates being offered a position by the Waipareira trust to work with young people.


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