April 18, 2016
Mana damage in leadership battle
The chair of the Takitimu District Maori Council says the New Zealand Maori Council chair has lost its mana over a battle over its leadership.
Des Ratima was part of a group that walked out of Saturday's council meeting where retired high court judge Sir Taihakurei Durie of Rangitane was elected sole chair.
The meeting effectively rescinded all decisions made at a contested February meeting where Mataatua's Maanu Paul was declared chair with Mr Ratima his deputy.
It moved to regain control of its bank accounts, cancel an audit ordered by Mr Paul and Mr Ratima, and continue to use the law firm run by Sir Taihakurei's wife Donna Hall.
Mr Ratima says it's not a good look.
"That leads to the council at this stage being not only disfunctional but actually losing its abilty to have any mana among for example the Maori Iwi Leaders Forum, politicians, and other Maori groups, CFRT, FOMA who might have worked with us in the past who are saying right now 'you guys are a bunch of idiots,'" he says.
Mr Ratima says his district council has complained to the New Zealand Law Society out Ms Hall and her firm Woodward Law, because he thinks there are clear conflicts of interest.
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