10 Dec 2014

Single national Maori body 'nirvana'

7:06 am on 10 December 2014

A member of the Iwi Chairs Forum says creating a single body to represent Maori at a national level would be 'mission impossible'.

Haami Piripi.

Haami Piripi. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The suggestion is made by the Waitangi Tribunal, in its extensive report on Maori Wardens.

Te Runanga o Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi said he could understand why the Tribunal thought it would be desirable for Maori to speak with one voice, but it was not so easy to achieve.

He said the last attempt at setting up a kotahitanga (unity) institution was through the Maori National Congress in 1990, which lapsed due to a lack of money and commitment from individual iwi.

Mr Piripi said if Maori people spoke with one voice in a co-ordinated manner, tangata whenua would have much more influence in Aotearoa.

He said until that nirvana was achieved Maori would always struggle with fragmentation, division, differences of opinion, and interpretation.

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