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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Court refuses injunction on chair’s sacking

The chair of Tainui's Te Ara Taura executive, Tukoroirangi Morgan, says the High Court's refusal to grant an injunction to the chair of the tribal parliament was the outcome he was looking for.

Tania Martin wanted the judge to rule against the decision by King Tuheitia to sack her from Te Kauhanganui.

Mr Morgan says instead she was told to take part in the dispute resolution process the tribe invoked a fortnight ago.

“It is a waste of time running to the Pakeha courts to sort this issue out. The unnecessary pain and action Mrs Martin has inflicted on this tribe has caused the king to lose confidence in Mrs Martin’s ability to fill the role of chair of Te Kauhanganui and he maintains that withdrawal of support for her to remain in that position,” Mr Morgan says.

Mrs Martin's future will be a matter for the parliament.


The co-chair of the group developing an iwi response to the Government's constitutional review says it's looking closely at Bolivia as a future model for New Zealand.

Evo Morales, the first Bolivian president with an indigenous whakapapa, enacted a new constitution last year which gave more power to the country's indigenous majority.

Margaret Mutu says it sought to roll back a half a millennium of Spanish colonisation.

“It is based on the responsibility to look after papatuanuku and that’s the basis of their constitution so it gets away from concentrating on just the human element of the world and considering the world in total and the relationship between us and paptuanuku and tangaroa and tawhirimatea and all the elements around us, that we are just one part of it,” Professor Mutu SAYS.

Bolivia's 17th constitution since 1826 also included an article protecting the cultivation of coca, which it said was not a narcotic in its natural state.


New research has pointed to early Maori being responsible for destroying huge tracts of New Zealand's forests.

A study by Landcare Research and Montana State University says the use of fire to clear land for planting may have resulted in up to 40 percent of the country's forest cover replaced by grass and scrub within the first 200 years of Polynesian settlement.

Landcare senior scientist Matt McGlone says the study disproves earlier theories the fires were caused by lightning ... and it's highlighted how efficiently the land was cleared.

“We think a large part was done within 200 years, possibly within 100 years and it was done by a relative handful of people. As far as we know, round about 200, 250 tops Maori arrive. To do all they did within a couple of hundred years means that very few people were doing a lot of work,” Dr McGlone says.

The study is being published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences as a case study into how quickly a human population can have major impact on the land.


A leading Tainui elder says the death of senior orator Tione John Haunui is a major loss to the tribe.

Rahui Papa says Mr Haunui, who died yesterday aged 71, was steeped in Tainui oratory and karakia.

He says he was a source of stability within the tribe, and his passing marks the end of an era.

“He was one of the ones lucky enough to bne alongside the likes of Dr Henare Tuwhangai, Te Whati Tamati, Pumi Taituha, Waea Mauriohoho, just to name a few. Wonderful, wonderful kaumatua that not only performed the oratory on the marae, not only did the incantations to bless houses but they were also the kaumatua that debated issues for the people,” Mr Papa says.

John Haunui from Waikato and Ngati Maniapoto is lying in state at Waahi Marae in Huntly.


Meanwhile, the chair of the Tainui executive says his counterpart in the tribal parliament needs to bring her dispute back to the tribe.

Tania Martin yesterday failed to get an injunction preventing King Tuheitia sacking her as chair of Te Kauhanganui, with the judge suggesting she go through the internal disputes resolution process invoked by Tukoroirangi Morgan and his Te Ara Taura executive.

Mr Morgan says the courts aren't the right place to fight tribal matters.

“We're an iwi before we were an incorporated society. That’s what makes tribes unique. The raupatu or the settlement of raupatu came as a result of what happened to the tribe, not to an incorporated society, when we lost 1.2 million acres in 1864. We are still and iwi and this iwi has one boss. He is the paramount chief and ariki for Waikato-Tainui. That’s Kingi Tuheitia,” he says.

Mr Morgan says the king maintains his withdrawal of support for Mrs Martin to remain as chair of Te Kauhanganui, but it's up to the parliament to decide what happens next.


The head of the Public Health Association says low achievement by Maori and Pasifika students in schools is creating inter-generational health problems.

Gay Keating says the Children’s Social Health Monitor shows far too many Maori children ending up in hospital with preventable conditions.

She says often it comes down to the limited options their parents have if they come out of the school system without qualifications.

“They're less likely to have a good-paying job and when they become parents in their 20s and 30s Maori parents have less income and are more likely to be last on, first off and sadly we see this reflected in the children's health statistics,” Dr Keating says.


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