6 Sep 2018

Northland iwi leader fires back at Māori King's allegations

12:30 pm on 6 September 2018

A Northland iwi leader is calling out the Māori King for making a number of inflamatory comments at last month's Iwi Chairs Forum.

060814. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Maori King Tuheitia Paki at the Ranana marae in Whanganui.

Maori King Tuheitia Paki Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

In a leaked letter, Sonny Tau says Kingi Tuheitia attacked Labour Party minister Nanaia Mahuta and also the mana of the Iwi Chairs Forum itself.

The letter is adressed to Te Arataua, which is the board of Te Kauhanganui legislative council of Waikato Tainui.

Mr Tau said the Māori King publicly attacked Māori development minister Nanaia Mahuta saying she'd done nothing for her people.

Kingi Tuheitia also criticised Waikato Tainui leader Rahui Papa for not following his instructions to call a meeting with Hauraki iwi over issues around overlapping interest in treaty settlements.

Mr Tau also took offense at comments the Iwi Chairs Forum does nothing for iwi - and had been relying on Ngai Tahu and Waikato Tainui to carry them.

Also outlined in the letter were comments made by Kingi Tuheitia that Waikato Tainui had done more for prisons and prisoners in the country than anyone else.


Sonny Tau has written a letter calling out the Māori King for his comments at the Iwi Chairs Forum. Photo: Image: supplied

Mr Tau wrote the letter on behalf of Te Kahu o Taonui, which is the chair of nine iwi entities in Te Tai Tokerau and said the Māori King's comments were "inaccurate, offensive and mana diminishing."

When RNZ contacted Mr Tau he wouldn't comment on the letter and said it was a private matter between Te Kahu o Taonui and Te Arataua.

However, in the letter he said "that members of Te Kahu o Taonui will not attend any Iwi Chairs Forum hui that will be hosted at Hopuhopu (near Ngāruawāhia) unless there is an assurance that this behaviour will not be repeated."

This letter follows the now infamous letter sent by Tukoroirangi Morgan calling the Māori king a "puppet king'".

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