November 28, 2014
Court access wrong for rangatiratanga
Former Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples has attacked urban Maori advocate Willie Jackson for his legal challenge over mataawaka appointments to Auckland’s Independent Maori Statutory Board.
A High Court judge has agreed with the Manukau Urban Maori chief executive that the panel of mana whenua representatives who appointed board members failed to act in a fair and transparent manner when it came to saying who should represent the 89 percent of Maori who come from iwi outside the super city.
He overturned the appointment of Papakura Marae head Tony Kake and ordered the selection be done again.
Dr Sharples says questioning the decisions of mana whenua is a violation of tino rangatiratanga.
"We are Maori and if we are going to start attacking our own structures in the Pakeha courts, I think we undermine the whole notion of rangatiratanga, so I am disappointed the challenge has been made," he says.
Dr Sharples says Maori need to be consistent in supporting tino rangatiratanga, even when it means setting aside personal gain.
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