Maori Board seeks transparency

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(Source | Waatea News) Urban Maori leader John Tamihere says the new Maori statutory board set up as part of Auckland’s new super city structure will hold its meetings in the open.

The board drew fire for excluding the public and media from its first meeting yesterday, after an opening powhiri.

But Mr Tamihere, who is one of two mataawaka members representing Maori from iwi outside Tamaki Makaurau, says that was appropriate for a first meeting of a new entity.

We had to have a robust discussion about who had the goods, who didnt, and you dont belittle or make cutting comments of colleagues in front of others so we had a process like Pakeha people do where we went in committee, we chose our leadership and we came out of committee and we announced it and a lot of our work if not all of our work will be open, no problem, Mr Tamihere says.

David Taipari from Ngati Maru was elected chair with Patience Te Ao from Waikato and Ngati Wai his deputy.

In addition, a member of the Auckland super city’s statutory Maori Board says it’s determined to work closely with the council.

The board has three months to draw up a list of its priorities, but its relationship with the council is not fully defined in the legislation.

Former MP John Tamihere, who is one of two mataawaka members representing Maori from iwi outside Tamaki Makaurau, says at its first meeting this week it asked councillor Alf Filipaina to sit in on meetings, despite him having no formal entitlement to do so.

We’ve issued an open ended invitation to him and to obtain all our documentation and minutes so weve shown an ability to be absolutely open with this council by actually co-opting one of the councilors that the mayor asked to be the relationship manager with us. What more can Maori do, Mr Tamihere says.

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