27 Jul 2012

Maori board refuses to fully comply with MP's request

6:15 pm on 27 July 2012

Papakura MP Judith Collins is calling on Auckland's Independent Maori Statutory Board to obey a recommendation by the Chief Ombudsman.

Ms Collins says the board has provided her with unsatisfactory information.

The board's chairperson, David Taipari, says Ms Collins requested the board members' names and the towns and districts they live in.

He says the board provided the information, although two of its nine members gave their tribal boundaries instead, because that's the basis on which they were appointed.

Mr Taipari says Ms Collins was unhappy with that, and asked the Chief Ombudsman, Beverley Wakem, to investigate.

Ms Wakem recommended the members provide the names of their towns and districts but the board rejected that, saying it supports the members' Treaty rights to provide their whakapapa, or genealogy, and their tribal boundary.

Ms Collins, who is also Justice Minister, says she's pursuing the matter on behalf of a constituent who believes the information should be available to ratepayers.

Mr Taipari says Ms Collins is being pedantic and the board has more important issues to resolve.