Waikato-Tainui parliament leader stood down

10:02 am on 26 November 2012

The head of the Waikato-Tainui parliament has been stood down from her role, accused by the tribe's leadership of bringing the iwi into disrepute.

The decision to remove Tania Martin was made at a lengthy meeting of the tribe's parliament and tribal executive on Sunday.

Days earlier, a letter by the Maori King criticised fighting between the tribe's two leadership groups and called for members of the parliament and executive to step down and seek re-election.

His request prompted a vote at the hui, which resulted in Ms Martin being disqualified as a representative of the parliament, meaning she loses the chairmanship.

Thirty-six of the 66 marae representatives at the meeting voted to remove Ms Martin.

Her spokesperson, Chris Webster, told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme Ms Martin rejects accusations she bought the iwi into disrepute.

King Tuheitia's letter said the leadership was reckless and shameful and was wasting the iwi's funds, but Ms Webster says Ms Martin sought accountability and transparency in tribal spending and in fact tried to expose reckless spending to the people of Waikato.

A former head of the Waikato-Tainui executive, Tukoroirangi Morgan, plans to contest the parliament's chairmanship and says he's certain that if an election goes ahead he'll be re-appointed.

Mr Morgan says the two leadership groups are dysfunctional, and he would aim to restore order within Waikato-Tainui.