11 Apr 2012

Te Arawa trust welcomes advice on tribal parliament plans

7:02 pm on 11 April 2012

The head of Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Toby Curtis, says Waikato-Tainui has offered him some important advice to help avoid problems if his people want to set up a tribal parliament.

Te Arawa groups in Bay of Plenty are considering establishing a superstructure which would unite descendants and build on achievements by iwi organisations involved in areas such as business and fisheries.

The idea of having a tribal parliament has been around for a few years, but gained momentum at the Te Arawa Lakes Trust annual meeting in Rotorua in March.

Chairman Toby Curtis says Waikato-Tainui has offered a helping hand, if needed, and has told him setting out a constitution based on tikanga is important.

A spokesperson for Waikato-Tainui, Rahui Papa, says getting the founding document right is essential.

He says it's better to deal with problems on the marae by using tikanga, ensuring a place where people can talk face-to-face, air their views, then resolve the problem and move on.

Mr Papa says getting dragged into court and allowing the law to hand down a verdict is never a good way to go.