27 Jun 2012

Iwi forum, Maori Council may 'compete' for Government ear

7:16 am on 27 June 2012

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is warning a rejuvenated Maori Council that it might be overlooked by the Government in favour of the Iwi Leaders Forum.

The council has formed a new leadership team that includes Sir Eddie Durie, and is aiming to be the contestable advisor to the Government on all things Maori.

But in recent times the Iwi Leaders Forum has become a stronger lobbying force in Wellington.

Dr Sharples says although the Maori Council has a statutory role, ministers can be selective when it comes to taking advice.

He says at the moment the council has to be recognised because it is a legislated body, but the Act that defines the organisation is under review.

Dr Sharples says the Government's preference might be to stay with iwi leaders on some issues, and go with the Maori Council on other matters.