29 May 2015

New path for Federation of Māori Authorities

6:41 am on 29 May 2015

The head of the Federation of Māori Authorities says the organisation is moving down a new path after being nearly crippled financially by court action over the last year.

FOMA spent over $200,000 on challenging the Crown Forest Rental Trust appointment process and on the Ture Whenua Maori review.

Its chair, Traci Houpapa, said that while both were important cases to be involved in, they were unplanned and not budgeted for, and it has hit the organisation's cash-flow.

Traci Houpapa.

Traci Houpapa. Photo: Landcorp

She said a number of key members of FOMA had now agreed to support a three-year development programme and will pay more to the organisation so it can continue to support Maori economic development.

"What that means is that we can start to look again at what our members are wanting, how FOMA responds to policy and legislation changes, how we can participate in some of the large pieces of work that are going on across primary industry sector and others, for Maori and for New Zealand."

She said FOMA members realised that the organisation was crucial in enhancing the productivity and performance of Maori assets in partnership with the overall business growth agenda in this country.

"Some of our key members have acknowledged this importance by looking at that three-year development programme and agreeing to pay a higher membership levy to contribute to that turnaround, and we are very grateful for that."

Ms Houpapa said the details were still being worked through.