May 31, 2017
Tiaki Hunia to head Maori Land Service
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell is defending the appointment of the head of the new Maori Land Service.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the position should have been advertised, and it's arrogant to fill it when the organisation is still not set up or legislated for.
Deputy Maori Trustee Tiaki Hunia has been appointed director, development and design of the Maori Land Service.
Opposition MPs have criticised the move, saying it was arrogant to appoint someone before Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill is passed but the minister says the appointment is an operational matter for his ministry.
"So I don't see what the big problem is. The main thing is we wanted to make sure we get ahead and get the land service up and running in 18 months so we are ahead of ourselves once the law is passed. Anything we can do in that space and is about developing the Land Service which will support Te Ture Whenua I am happy with, but it is an operational matter and that will be for the chief executive of Te Puni Kokiri to answer," he says.
Mr Hunia, a lawyer with Ngati Awa, Te Aupouri and Ngati Pikiao whakapapa, was general manager of Ngati Awa Group Holdings Ltd before joining the Maori Trustee in 2012.
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