April 17, 2017
Maori Council row rumbles on
The High Court has refused to strike out a judicial review against the New Zealand Maori Council by its former co-chair.
Long-serving Maatatua District Maori Council chair Maanu Paul wants the court to overturn the council’s vote in April 2016 to make Sir Edward Taihakurie Durie the sole chair.
That followed a meeting called in February 2016 by Mr Paul which
The two had been co-chairs but the relationship broke down in acrimony, with Mr Paul calling a meeting in February last year at which he was elected sole chair.
That meeting was found to be invalid because there weren’t enough council members there.
Mr Paul is also challenging the use of the firm belonging to Sir Edward’s wife Donna Hall as the council’s lawyers.
Justice Simon France said he was not prepared to strike out the entire claim because he was not convinced the claims were hopeless nor that relief would inevitably be declined.
However, he did strike out large parts of the statement of claim.
He said the review is a challenge to certain decisions of the council, not a general inquiry into its functioning and the pleadings must be tight and focused so the court is not burdened with festering but irrelevant aspects.
The substantive hearing is set for July.
Mr Paul says he would like the council as a whole to resolve the issues outside the courtroom.
He says the interests of Sir Edward are not the same as those of the council.
The council will meet at the end of the month and another showdown is likely between the pair.
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