Disciplinary and Disputes Committee composition raises concerns

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The names of the Disputes Committee have been released by Maori Party president Pem Bird. The Committee will meet on Wednesday 9 February 2011 to consider a complaint made against Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, by Maori Party whip, Te Ururoa Flavell.

This hui, will be preceded by a confidential kanohi-ki-te-kanohi meeting on 2 February.

The Disciplinary and Disputes Committee is chaired by Maori Party co-vice president, Te Orohi Paul, and is comprised of five members: Donna Gardiner, Matiu Dickson; Gordon Paku and Ken Mair (bios are below).

“Four of the members have been key figures in both National Council representation, and in electorate management positions (specifically in Ikaroa Rawhiti; Tamaki Makaurau; Te Tai Hauauru and Waiariki) since the foundation of the Maori Party in 2004, and the fifth member, Matiu Dickson, brings in an external independence to the committee” read the Press Release.

Lawyer Annette Sykes has raised concerns about the composition of the Committe and the relationships within the committee, asking the following questions:

“Why are people from the Waiariki electorate involved and people from the Tai Tokerau Electorate excluded when the complainant comes from Waiariki and the alleged offender comes from Tai Tokerau?”

“Why are there so many on this committee who come from the Waiariki electorate or have ties to this electorate? Justice must not just be done but also be seen to be done.

“In light of the media commentary has Ken Mair disclosed his relationship as a factor that may affect the perception of the independence of the complaint given the relationship of his wife to the Chairperson of the Maori Party?

Finally I hope the committee are meeting by themselves to firstly consider:

a) Is the letter of complaint from Te Urururoa a valid complaint?

b) What is the process to be developed to consider tth complaint and how do they assure all Maori Party members that the process is fair, impartial and does not prejudge the situation.

These are valid questions and no doubt the Maori Party has taken time to consider them, so it will be interesting to see how the hui proceed.

The Committee Members are:

Te Orohi Paul (Ngati Awa me Ngati Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau). [Diploma and Bachelor of Maori Studies]. Te Orohi is a Consultant Management Auditor and has worked in the health sector since 1989. In particular she has made a significant contribution to cultural treatment models and more recently in auditing organisations seeking to improve the quality of their service delivery. Te Orohi is co vice president of the Maori Party.

Lindsay Gordon Paku (Ngati Kahungunu). QSM. Gordon has been involved with youth and Maori in the Hastings community for some thirty years. He established the Heretaunga M?ori Executive Whanau Services and has been the coordinator of the service since 1990. Mr Paku was active with the Takitimu District M?ori Council and the Ruahapia M?ori Committee, with whom he helped to build Ruahapia Marae. In 2009 he was awarded the QSM for services to Maori and Maori youth. In September 2010 Gordon was awarded the Malaysia Service Medal (Pingat Jasa Malaysia). The award was given for distinguished service between 1957 and 1963 during the Emergency and Confrontation with Indonesia. Gordon is Chairperson of the Ikaroa Rawhiti Electorate.

Donna Ngaronoa Gardiner (Ngati Ranginui, Ngai-te-Rangi) (BA, MED, Dip Indigenous Diplomacy) is a Project Officer for Nga Pae o te Maramatanga (National Institute of Research Excellence for Maori Development and Advancement.) Ms Gardiner has been involved for the past eight years in M?ori education, initially as outpost manager for Te Whare W?nanga o Awanui?rangi, and more recently as Programme Leader, undergraduate programmes, for Te Ara Poutama, at the Auckland University of Technology. Donna has extensive experience in whanau development, hap?, iwi and indigenous networking and research, and a background in community development and the public service. Donna is co-Chairperson of the Tamaki Makaurau electorate.

Ken Mair (Nga Rauru; Ngati Raukawa; Ngati Apa, Nga Wairiki; Tuwharetoa; Whanganui) [Diploma in Industrial Relations] has been a political activist, legal advocate and iwi spokesperson for a wide range of key events in Maoridom. Mr Mair is now a Board member of the Moutoa Gardens Historic Reserve Board and co Vice-president of the Maori Party. Ken’s professional experience and expertise is in conflict resolution and dispute management in employment related negotiations.

Matiu Dickson (Ngaiterangi) BA LLB DipTch Auck LLM Waikato is a Senior Lecturer in Te Piringa, the School of Law at Waikato University. After a number of years teaching at all levels, he has been a barrister and solicitor in private practice. He is a past Tauranga District Councillor, chairing the Planning and Environment Committee. His special interests are legal education, youth advocacy and the criminal system, resource management and local government law, and Maori legal issues.

3 COMMENTS

  1. RNZ National is reporting that people from Tai Tokerau have decided not to be involved, as they do not consider the complaint to be valid. This is no the same thing as being excluded. Can anyone confirm which is true, were they excluded or have they decided not to come?

  2. The issues put forward by Annette are valid, simple and commonsensical so WHY is there not one or even two Te Taitokerau representatives on this disciplinary committee? I vote in the North and yes I have voted for Hone so why is he not getting a fair deal. Everyone who has voted for him or the MP should be asking this same question. Furthermore if the man goes the extra mile for his constituents then we as voters must follow suit and tautoko him so lets DEMAND he gets a fair deal – at the moment it does not look fair at all. Stop the joke MP or should I say Pem Bird and get real! this behavior really does indicate YOU are holding a sham and are not capable of leading a political Maori party. The real issue here is not about whether you like Hone or not its about whats fair and whats not – this process is far from fair which makes it NOT RIGHT! SHAME MAORI SHAME!

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