14 Dec 2011

Ngapuhi runanga suspends Ngati Hine from its board

7:35 pm on 14 December 2011

Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau says the runanga has decided to suspend Ngati Hine iwi from attending board meetings, until it complies with the requirements of Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi's constitution.

He says the Kaikohe based runanga has been waiting for months for the iwi to meet its legal requirements, and appoint a board representative at a properly constituted annual meeting.

Mr Tau says Ngati Hine's failure to stick to the rules, affects the whole of Ngapuhi.

He says when the Ngapuhi runanga has a person sitting at its board table who was elected at an unconstitutionally held annual meeting, it puts all Ngapuhi's assets at risk.

Mr Tau says the runanga must adhere to the laws of the Maori Fisheries Act.

But Ngati Hine chairman Waihoroi Shortland says neither he nor his board are bothered by the suspension.

He says it's just another step along the road the iwi wants to take, to completely withdraw from Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi.

Mr Shortland says if the runanga wanted to show some respect, it should have agreed to Ngati Hine's wish and cut its ties with the iwi altogether.

He says the suspension is just another example of the Ngapuhi runanga putting its focus on process rather than outcome.

Mr Shortland says the way the Ngati Hine board conducted its annual meeting this year, and appointed a representative to the Ngapuhi board, was no different from what it's done for the past six years.