16 Aug 2011

Waikato advisor claims tail wagging dog in iwi finances

6:51 am on 16 August 2011

An advisor to the Waikato-Tainui parliament says the current turmoil within the iwi is all about who holds the purse strings - and who they should report to.

In the latest episode of a lengthy power struggle, the parliament disqualified as a member, the chair of its executive, Tukoroirangi Morgan.

Chris Webster says the intention was always that the Waikato people, through their parliament, would have the ultimate power in spending decisions.

But she says the executive, led by Mr Morgan, has assumed control, and now thumbs its nose at parliament.

Miss Webster says that at weekend hui she attended, the korero was all about the tail wagging the dog, and with iwi assets now worth $500 million, people are worried.

The Waikato-Tainui parliament last week disqualified Te Arataura's chair Tukoroirangi Morgan as a member, saying that means he's also disqualified from his job.

But Te Arataura says that's not the case and Mr Morgan is still its chair.

Te Kauhanganui meets again in two weeks to review the impasse.