December 11, 2013
Government tinkering out of order
The co-chair of the New Zealand Maori Council, Sir Taihakurei Durie, says the Government has no right to separate the council from the Maori wardens.
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has announced that after extensive community consultation the Government has decided to make no changes to the Maori Community Development Act 1962 in respect of the New Zealand Maori Council.
But he says the Ministry for Maori Development will talk more next year with key stakeholders about whether the Maori wardens should become a stand-alone entity or remain under the control of district Maori councils.
Sir Taihakurei says the 1962 Act was the formal expression of an agreement with Maori at the time, that there be councils, community officers and wardens.
"So those three things together constitute the package for Maori self-governance as it was seen 51 years ago. There is no basis on which I can see the government can now take away any part of that structure, because it is not for government to tell Maori people how self government by Maori is to be exercised," he says.
Sir Taihakurei says the New Zealand Maori Council is going through a process of reforming and modernising itself, but that does not give the government the right to make changes without agreement.
Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd