February 27, 2020
Bidois comes out swinging for Awataha critics
Northcote MP Dan Bidois is taking up the cudgels on behalf of Māori constituents frustrated at their lack of service from Awataha Marae.
The marae with its distinctive Native American totem pole has been subject to pressure from critics who say the Awataha Marae Incorporated Society puts business ahead of the needs to the community and acts as a closed shop.
Mr Bidois says he has written to Lands Minister Eugenie Sage, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Te Taitokerau MP Kelvin Davis about their concerns.
"The sense in this community is it's run by a select few – in fact, you could even say a family – for a select few. The issues raised are round accessibility, transparency but also whether this marae has been acting in the best interests of the community and also the laws that govern the society," he says.
Dan Bidois says the lease for the marae's land is up for renegotiation this year, and he wants the crown to use that process to review whether the marae is being run in the best interests of the community.
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