Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ngāi Tahu Election Update

Congratulations Gail - the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu representative recently confirmed for Moeraki

Confirmed representatives to date are

Waihao - Gerald Te Kapa Coates
Tūāhuriri - Tutehounuku Korako
Arowhenua - Quentin Hix
Ōraka-Aparima - Stewart Bull
Koukourārata- Elizabeth Cunningham
Makaawhio - Tim Rochford
Ōtākou - Tahu Potiki
Taumutu - Sandy Lockhart
Rāpaki - Wally Stone
Waewae - Lisa Tumahai
Puketeraki - Matapura Ellison
Wairewa - James Daniels
Hokonui - Terry Nicholas
Moeraki - Gail Tipa

4 to go


Anonymous said...

Kia ora Marty
As this process draws to a slow long drawn out conclusion it is interesting to look back on a few things.

I would be interested to know how many people even got to vote for the appointment committees let alone have a direct say over the Rep. From what I know top prize goes to Tuahuriri and Makaawhio. Tuahuriri at least had the candidates come to the marae and put their case after a postal ballot had given folks the chance to pick the appointment committee.

Makaawhio ran an indicative vote for the person of their choice for Rep. Apparently Kaikoura are going to do the same if they ever get started.

Last prize so far would go to Wairewa who restricted the numbers of people eligible to be on the appointment committee, did not advertise except to a select few that nominations for Rep were open and under cover of darkness re-appointed James D.

JD is of course famous for leading the failed attempt to reform the postal voting system. At that time he wanted all kinds of openness and process - but that was then.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora anon

Good points - I'd like the breakdown of those figures too. My biggest concern has been that (in my understanding) the list held within TRONT is not the list that has been used at the papatipu runaka level. How many tupuna have been taken off, how many people have been affected by this (by no longer [officially] being able to whakapapa to that marae). When this election process has been completed we may need a truth and reconcilliation committee to sort out any grievence. But until some report is made - we just won't know. I have looked at the lists of GNA's and the numbers voting and there are issues there.

Anonymous said...

Kia ora Marty and Anon 1
I too would like a review of how this process has been run.

The main concern re the lists held by Te Runanga for my runanga is that these were compiled using faulty criteria and often left out people that the Papatipu Runanga wanted included and for other runanga there was people on the lists who should not be there.

The lists at Te Runanga were based on decisions of land courts and government agents and not on ahi kaa customary rights criteria for whakapapa.

This means if your kaumatua was dis-enfranchised under the land court system the historic injustice would carry on. Also, for people whose kaumatua knew how to manipulate the sales process and land court system end up with land and thus "entitled" to vote in regions they never ever had ahi kaa those thing carry on.

However, at the end of the day I think the real problem is a lack of transparency. When Kati Waewae cut out all the people from Tuahiwi it was done quietly and secretly. As a member of Waewae I agree with the criteria that we have adopted - I just don't agree with the way it was done.

And as for the Waewae decision on the dam.... don't get me started. People living far away from the coast let alone the site itself should not have been able to sell us all down the river.

Anonymous said...

Why did Kati Wae Wae cut out people from Tuahiwi?

"When Kati Waewae cut out all the people from Tuahiwi it was done quietly and secretly. As a member of Waewae I agree with the criteria that we have adopted - I just don't agree with the way it was done".

What right did that runanga have to disenfranchise those with a whakapapa right to that takiwa?

Heoi ano

Anonymous said...


The question is what gives rise to a whakapapa right? Is it a decision of the Crown or the Land Court? Or is it about ahi kaa?

I am not saying whether Waewae are right or wrong regarding who is a member - but the real issue is whether the question was properly considered.

If you think you have been wrongly excluded there must be some way of challenging this.

Anonymous said...

Kia Ora Ngai Tahu

The election process has been a complete sham in the following respects.

1) The process of runaka "choosing" their kaumatua was done largely behind private doors and without proper scrutiny by the tribe, nor reference to those with appropriate knowledge in this area. The act of runaka choosing kaumatua is shudderingly lacking in tikanga and should have been part of a tribal wide process that all have input into.

2) The Voting for the appointment committe was based on local runaka membership lists and not the Whakapapa Units tribal database. This is seriously undemocratic as well as poor tikanga (again). Tribal members were not officially told by TRONT at any time during the electoral process that tribal members would need to be registered with all their runaka in order to vote. This is a serious procedural issue and grounds for complaint to (I suggest the Maori Land Court, as they are the authority named in the TRONT Act to mediate on membership disputes, and is worth testing to see if they would get involved in Ngai Tahu's electoral issues). Why would you not use our comprehensive tribal database despite it being the best tribal database in NZ?

3) The process for choosing the committee and the representative was/is not uniform across each runaka leading to potential for impropriety.

4) There has been no mention of any independant scrutineering of the election process by TRONT to oversee the electoral process, given that the process has not been uniform, to ensure that proper process has been followed. Each runaka has chosen their process within some extremely broad guidelines with no oversight of what they have been doing.

5) TRONT have no official process for Ngai Tahu members to be able to make a complaint or petition regarding any aspect of the elections if they have evidence of impropriety in the process (in the same way that happens for a general election under the 1993 Electoral Act). Any petition obviously needs to be dealt with by an independant authority, not TRONT.

The whole Papatipu Runaka system seriously disenfranchises the majority of Ngai Tahu who live away from their runaka through lack of ability to take part in any decision making that affects the whole tribe. Whilst Ahi Kaa do a superb job in maintaining hapu mana at a local level, they do an extremely poor job of representing their whole constituency (which is all those who whakapapa to the runaka) and fail to adequately understand the broader issues the tribe as a whole due to their smaller localised focus.

Lastly, We need to have a direct tribal democratic vote for who we wish to be the Chair of TRONT. I have no faith in the TRONT members to make this decision on my behalf.

Anonymous said...

To the previous anon

I agree strongly with your last point.

However I don't agree with all of the previous ones. It is the Papatipu Runanga who are the members of TRoNT and they must be able to exercise rangatiratanga on behalf of their members. If their members don't make the effort to particpate that is their choice. You are only as disenfranchised as you choose to be via that system.

I do agree about the secrecy of how the kaumatua become part of lists. Too many runanga just defaulted to the whakapapa unit in the early days. To be fair though most lists are inclusive and a fair few are in fact based on whakapapa and not on land court lists.

But saying the whole tribe should have a role in allocating kaumatua to runanga is not tika.

Simple fact re the elections is that despite advertising and non restrictive criteria there were qute a few runanga who did not get enough people who wanted to be on appointment committees thus no election at all.

There was definately some dodgy practices at places like Otakou, Waewae, Rapaki and Wairewa.

The Act does require members of NTW to "establish their right to belong" to a runanga by descent and an appeals process. I did not bother to do that with TRoNT I have done that with the runanga I choose to belong to (amongst the many I could belong to). If they had turned me down I could appeal and as my whanau has ahi kaa I have no doubt I would succeed.

The Act says it is the PR who are to conduct the election process and thus neither TRoNT or the Maori Land Court have authority to intervene. But the High Court can if the rules of the PR and or the process they follow falls short of their own rules or natural justice.

So the solutions are there and they are not at TRoNT. The solutions rest with NTW particpating at a higher level than just registering their names with a database held at TRoNT and then expecting to get full benefits and have a full say.

Change will come when people go home and make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion & points being made here.

To me, the statement that "Change will come when people go home and make it happen" is highly debatable.

The reality is that most of the tribe live outside Te Wai Pounamu and yes you will always have some who want to will move back to Te Wai Pounamu, but the majority will continue (and increasingly) stay away/or leave the South for somewhere much better.... The numbers speak for themselves.

Given this fact, if the ahi kaa cant sort out the issues eminating from within their own runaka then expecting long lost cousins from the North Island or overseas to come back and fix it is a little bit fanciful.

Honestly who would want to come back to put up with the politics of the small minded power hungry people that currently exists at most runaka. They have no interest in growing their people. They prefer it small so that they retain power & make it seem like they are big...

Thats why runaka participation levels are so poor. You guys hardly make people feel welcome, and are more intent on making sure that the people who come back are "put in their place" so that they are no threat to the power base of the ahi kaa.

Furthermore, if runaka cant get their own locally based non-participating ahi kaa people to take part (which is largely the case at runaka meetings etc) you have no show of getting any of your long lost cousins to up pegs to go home to participate and sort out the mess.

We are much happier being humble & living our whanaukataka,through supporting those around us, than expending all our energy trying to overcome the small minded people in charge of runaka and TRONT.

Ahi kaa always talk about having the mana & rangatiratanga through being ahi kaa & that non ahi kaa have no right to make decisions on their behalf.

Then it is up to ahi kaa to sort their problems. Non ahi-kaa therefore, also have no right to go & fix your problems. Ahi kaa cant have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Excellent and compelling interview today on Q & A with Mark Solomon. It will be a shame to lose the best ambassador we have for Ngai Tahu. I hope he can have another term for succession planning to be implemented.