Waikato-Tainui 'in-fighting' continues

SIENA YATES
Last updated 10:42 26/11/2012

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The chair of Waikato-Tainui's parliament Te Kauhanganui, Tania Martin, has been stood down from her position following a scathing letter released by Kingi Tuheitia last week. 

The King’s letter criticised what he called Waikato-Tainui’s "in-fighting" and called for Mrs Martin to stand down, backing his own spokesperson, Tuku Morgan, as her replacement.

"For those of you who are perpetuating ongoing fights and imposing costs on us that go with the fights, I demand you step down immediately and cease imposing your will over the majority of this tribe and its people that you are deserving of your job with the tribe," he wrote.

He made mention of his power to dissolve both bodies and said "there is no way I am going to...stand aside to allow dysfunctionality to continue".

Other calls for Mrs Martin to stand down have also come from within the tribe recently. 

In September, members of the tribe’s parliament and executive board went to court to dispute Mrs Martin’s appointment as chair, which the judge found to be legitimate and valid. 

The following month, Te Arataura chair, Tom Roa wrote a formal letter to Mrs Martin and her officers asking them to stand down - to no avail. 

Now, Tainui chief executive Parekawhia McLean has confirmed that Mrs Martin was stood down following a vote at the tribe’s hui yesterday. 

Morgan’s name will now be put forward by the King as a replacement, both an honour and opportunity for change, he said.

"The tribe continues to be dysfunctional. That is a major concern for me. I am humbled to get the support of the King. We have to change the manner in which the tribe is doing business right now is first of all, unhealthy, it’s inappropriate. It has to stop, I absolutely agree with the King.’’

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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