17 Aug 2018

Rangi McLean supports Māori king coronation media ban

From Checkpoint, 5:25 pm on 17 August 2018

Manurewa marae's chairman has spoken out in favour of the media ban from the Māori King's koroneihana celebrations this weekend.

The media ban follows former advisor Tukoroirangi Morgan's scathing letter regarding allegations of misspending of iwi money by Rangi Whakaruru.

The Māori King's office the Ururangi Trust is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

Rangi McLean, a former Māori Party candidate and current chairman of the Manurewa marae, said he agreed with the ban despite it being placed the first time.

"I agree with it in the extent that it's come from the Treasury of the motu, and it's come from the Kīngitanga in its 160 odd years of being a taonga of the motu so I have to say I agree with [the ban]. 

"I'm here to show my support for the Kīngitanga as a member of Tūhoe and all the work I do in Tāmaki Makaurau is with the knowledge that I hold Kīngitanga dear to my heart.

He said he had no further comments to make on the allegations until the investigation reached its end.

"When I hear how much corporate fraud is going on then that temp is my view. I've got nothing to say about those allegations because right now they're still there, although the investigation is going on they're still allegations."

With regards to expectations for Mr Morgan's reception at the marae, he said he would be supportive.

"I have no hesitation in standing by Tuku to be supportive because, one, he's from Tainui, two, he was a kaikōrero for king, and three, he was our president of the Māori Party."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was invited to Kingi Tuheitia's coronation, but could not make it this year.

"I was at Turangawaewae only a few months ago, and so that contact for me was really important," she said.

"But this year with competing demands I'm just not able to make it. But we will be represented by senior ministers."

Ministers Kelvin Davis, Nanaia Mahuta and Peeni Henare are attending on behalf of the government.  

While the ban was still there, media would still have access to the event through a live stream.