7 Dec 2010

Tainui Parliament chair sacking 'unconstitutional'

11:15 pm on 7 December 2010

Members of Waikato-Tainui say the Maori King's sacking of the leader of the tribe's Parliament has breached the constitution.

The chair of Te Kauhanganui, Tania Martin, was dismissed by King Tuheitia after making accusations of unwise spending by the iwi executive board.

He says she's failed to explain her allegations, which he describes as inaccurate, or to offer an apology.

But a former member of Te Kauhanganui, Mamae Takerei, says the King doesn't have the power to make such a decision.

"There is an accountability to a hierarchy, like any other organisation.

"[Mrs Martin] is accountable to the 67 marae that nominated and selected her as the chairperson for the Kauhanganui o Waikato Inc."

Iwi beneficiary Angeline Greensill, who is a member of the Raglan hapu, says members of the marae are the only ones who can dismiss the chairperson they elect.

Mana involved

Mrs Martin's replacement, Tainui executive board director Greg Miller told Morning Report that while there is a constitutional process to go through in terms of her actions, there are issues of mana involved.

"Tania has challenged the King's mana on many occasions and he got to the point where said 'enough is enough'."

Mr Miller told Waatea News Tania Martin's financial report to Te Ara Taura was factually inaccurate, but she had failed to give an apology.