September 27, 2012
High Court upholds Tania Martin election
Controversial Tainui leader Tania Martin’s ploy to cement her place on the tribal parliament has paid off, with a High Court judge ruling that her contested early election was not against the rules.
The decision means Mrs Martin can resume her position as the chair of Te Kauhanganui.
Tania Martin’s re-election as chair of Te Kauhanganui in February was held up by a dispute over who should represent Hiiona Marae, near Kawhia.
Some hapu members claimed that notice given of a hui a iwi in March last year, did not make it clear that the hui would be voting on the marae’s three representatives to Te Kauhanganui for the 2013 to 2015 term.
That was months before other Tainui marae held their elections.
But after a hearing on Monday, Justice Venning ruled that the use of the term “marae representatives” in the notice was enough, the election was valid, and the names of the three people elected at a subsequent hui in May should be removed from the list of members of Te Kauhanganui and replaced with Mrs Martin, Roimata Whanga-Katipa and Donna-Lee Katipa.
Tania Martin welcomed the decision and said whanau can now move forward together.