Tainui parliament could roll Rau

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 24/05/2013
Hemi Rau
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ
HEMI RAU: The deputy chairman of Tainui.

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A stoush is brewing among Tainui's political elite and will reach its peak this weekend when the tribal parliament decides whether to sack deputy chairman Hemi Rau.

An agenda item for tomorrow's meeting of Te Kauhanganui said Mr Rau had brought the parliament into disrepute and he would face removal.

Executive board chairman Tom Roa and first term member Marae Tukere would face censure for issues related to the conduct of Mr Rau.

Te Kauhanganui rules state that a person can be disqualified if they "act in a manner which has brought or is likely to bring Te Kauhanganui into disrepute".

His detractors would need 50 per cent of the vote from 66 marae in the tribal collective to remove him from his parliamentary position but the Waikato Times understands they would need a whopping 75 per cent to take his executive spot.

Te Riu o Waikato general manager Ricky Maipi complained to Te Kauhanganui after a "casual conversation" with Mr Rau allegedly turned to insult earlier in the year.

"Inappropriate behaviour is inappropriate behaviour wherever you are," Mr Maipi said.

"I took a formal complaint up with the tribe and of course I did write another letter to the Kauhanganui."

The chairman of the executive apologised on behalf of the member and Mr Maipi held no grudge over the incident but had not received an apology from Mr Rau, he said.

"I am prepared to overlook this incident but it doesn't negate the fact that it is going to be taken up by the Kauhanganui.

"Tainui, as a group, cannot afford to lose people that certainly have a skill that they can bring for the further development of the tribe."

Mr Rau was alleged to have acted dishonourably towards staff at the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust and Waikato Raupatu River Trust.

It is not the first scrape Mr Rau has had with his executive colleagues.

In 2010 Mr Rau was sacked from the executive board after he was found to have leaked information to the media.

Last November the Maori king, Tuheitia, criticised executive members including Tom Roa and Hemi Rau. Mr Rau declined to comment.

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