26 Aug 2013

Maori council co-chair urges support for council at hui

7:26 am on 26 August 2013

New Zealand Maori Council co-chair Maanu Paul is urging hapu to speak up for the council at a series of hui on its future.

The Government is reviewing the 1962 Maori Community Development Act, which gives the Maori Council the statutory right to speak and take action on behalf of all Maori.

Maanu Paul says all the major gains for Maori over the past 30 years, involving Treaty rights, have been initiated by the council - from the lands case in 1987 right through to the recent freshwater claim.

He says he is confident the council's authority as a pan-Maori organisation will survive the review, unless iwi authorities mount a campaign to get rid of it.

Mr Paul says the water case clearly showed all the small hapu that the iwi authority system does not work for them and they needed the statutory protection of the council to be heard and get justice.

Te Puni Kokiri is hosting consultation hui around the motu on the Maori Community Development Act, starting in the Kaitaia rohe next week.