Apr 12, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views


3 min read

Kia whiti te raa ki tua o Taawauwau

The Chair of Waikato-Tainuis executive board, Tom Roa has called on the Talleys family and AFFCO management to recognise the increasing potential of the lock-out for devastating impacts on the social fabric of the wider Ngaaruawaahia community.

We have seen that the Talleys family recognise and accept the responsibilities they have within their local community, in Motueka. What Im asking of Talleys and AFFCO is that they recognise their responsibilities in our communities too, said Tom Roa.

Our local communities and our whaanau have been the backs upon which a successful business has been developed. We are simply asking Talleys to be mindful of the human toll on our communities.

This tribe recognises that AFFCO and Talleys have a right to run a successful and efficient business. The concern we have is that there seems to be little recognition of the Maaori blood, sweat and tears that have contributed to that successful business, not just here in the Waikato, but in Northland, Gisborne and elsewhere.

We also have an appreciation that the union has a role to play in safeguarding the rights and interests of its membership and workers in general.

Iwi leaders met earlier this week to discuss finding a way forward.

There is a consensus among us that the primary role of Iwi is to protect and advance the interests of tribal membership. The reality is a majority of these locked-out workers are Maaori, and a great proportion of them are Waikato-Tainui.

Our people are hurting. Not just those workers who have been locked out. The indirect social costs are being felt by wider whaanau, community groupings and businesses throughout the region.

Noting a recent suggestion that it is time for Maaori to invest in their own processing factories, Mr Roa thought that it was probably not something that would be of significant benefit to Waikato-Tainui tribal members.

The Raupatu destroyed our economic land base and the agricultural expertise evidenced in the mid to late 1800s. As a consequence, we are no longer primarily a farming Iwi.

While the overarching aim of Iwi is about achieving self-determination, it has to be remembered that self-determination is a process, not an outcome. And the current stalemate is highlighting that Maaori remain marginalised in these processes.

Talleys is a major stakeholder in our community. We would welcome the opportunity to work with them to promote their interests, while safeguarding employee rights and outcomes of benefit to our Iwi and local communities, said Mr Roa.


For further information contact:

Tom Roa
Chair, Te Arataura o Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui
Mobile: 0277 038 755
Email [email protected]
Note to editors

An Interview opportunity can be coordinated for media wanting to speak directly to a whaanau feeling the effects of the lock-out.

The family:

1. Husband, wife and daughter all locked out
2. 2 dependent tamariki at home
3. Husband has gone to the South Island to work in an effort to alleviate their situation leaving the family without a husband and father

Please contact Kirk MacGibbon for family contact details cellphone 0277 549 689.


  1. This is true Maori leadership and congratulations to Tom Roa and the Tainui Executive Board for taking such a proactive stance and highlighting the historical and current contribution that Maori make to the sustainability of the work force. We can become desensitised to some of these issues but thank you for bringing a more balanced view into the public forum. A great example of manaakitanga, aroha, pono and
    tika. Kia kaha

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