4 Jul 2015

Harris plans to see how leadership play out

7:20 am on 4 July 2015

The Northland Conservation Board chair says he is not about to resume his seat on the Tūhoronuku board just because Sonny Tau had stepped down.


Kereru Photo: SUPPLIED / WCC

The Department of Conservation yesterday laid charges against Mr Tau after he was caught with five dead native pigeons as he was leaving Invercargill.

Mita Harris said since Mr Tau chose not to resign when he ought to have done, he felt he had no choice, but to step down himself.

"I just felt that it was the right thing to do at that time.. when I found out about the incident last week. I pondered the idea for about an hour, made the decision myself, by myself, and handed my resignation in," he said.

"For me personally, I just couldn't support what our leader within the Treaty claims process had done. And I wouldn't support any leader in Ngapuhi if they'd done something like this."

"We've got to lead by example and as far as I'm concerned, we've got to be above reproach."

Mr Harris said he planned on seeing how the leadership questions played out at the Tuhoronuku annual general meeting in about five weeks' time, before deciding whether to return.

"There is a chance that something could happen in that AGM, that might be a bit of a surprise.. maybe... I'm not too sure but I'm certainly going to hold off."

"I'm stood down now, and I'll stay where I am."

Mr Harris said he planned on talking to some of the leaders within Ngapuhi then and seeing where they stand, especially on natural heritage areas.

"I'll reconsider it after that," he said.

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