Morgan chosen as peace broker

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 07:35 14/12/2012
Tukoroirangi Morgan
Tukoroirangi Morgan.

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Tukoroirangi Morgan is back in a key position with Waikato-Tainui as the Maori King's representative on the tribal executive.

Mr Morgan was dumped from Te Arataura nearly a year ago but King Tuheitia has him back in the fold to put an end to the bitterness affecting the tribe.

"In appointing Tukoroirangi Morgan, the King has made it clear that he wants to see an end to the in-fighting and factionalism that has virtually paralysed the tribal Parliament," a spokesman for King Tuheitia said.

Mr Morgan is King Tuheitia's political adviser but it is his track record as a member of Parliament and tribal negotiator that has won him the promotion.

"There is no denying that Mr Morgan is one of the most effective and respected leaders in Maoridom and there is no denying that the Waikato-Tainui waka has been drifting since his departure nine months ago."

Continued hostility at executive level has King Tuheitia convinced of Mr Morgan's innocence and he is relying on his representative to make a raft of changes.

"If anything has been demonstrated over the past year, it is that Mr Morgan has not been the cause of the raruraru [problems].

"It has continued in his absence and with this appointment it must end."

Mr Morgan will tackle constitutional reform and negotiations around the expected $70 million Treaty of Waitangi relativity payment which was triggered in October.

Senior member of Te Arataura, Hemi Rau, said the waka was on course now because the current executive had been over the accounts with a fine tooth comb.

He welcomed the appointment of Mr Morgan and hoped to work in a positive manner for the benefit of the tribe.

"We are elected by the people and the King makes his appointment and that's how it works," he said.

"The betterment of the tribe is always the goal."

Mr Morgan replaces King Tuheitia's former representative, Greg Miller.

Mr Morgan could not be contacted for comment.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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